European Space Agency and Education
Education is an important theme for the European Space Agency - ESA, which tries to support European educators in their work, providing simple, practical and modular educational material to use. ESA has now launched a new Education Kit about space. It's for primary and secondary school teachers who wish to teach students about space and related subjects, including life and physical sciences.
International Space Station
One of the ESA's initiatives is the International Space Station (ISS) education programme. The ESA says that the floating space laboratory represents an ideal tool for teaching, because it is one of the largest, international, cooperative space adventures to date. It gives unique long-term research possibilities in weightless conditions in a wide range of disciplines.
The Education kit is divided into five chapters covering various aspects of life in space and life on the International Space Station. These are:
• What is the International Space Station
• Building the International Space Station
• Living on board the International Space Station
• Working on board the International Space Station
• Future Voyages
The ESA says that all activities involved in building, working and living on board the ISS have many fascinating angles that can be applied to various subjects and skills taught in schools, such as:
• Material Science
• Fluid Science
• History and cultural studies
• Environmental studies
• Creative writing and foreign language training
• Modelling related to artistic expression and technology
• Social skills (i.e. cooperation and teamwork)
Each chapter contains a general introduction, followed by exercise units with a variety of tasks. Each kit also has a set of overhead projector colour transparencies. Units can be copied and handed out, and taught independently from other units.
Teachers throughout the ESA member states are invited to register with the ESA for a free copy of the International Space Station Education Kit. Read more at:
Another ESA initiative: a website for kids
The European Space Agency runs a website just for children.
The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. You will find puzzles, quizzes, animated comics and more. It's aimed at pupils aged up to 12 years old and includes exciting news about Cassini-Huygens' trip to the moon of Titan.
For more information, please contact Isabelle Duvaux-Bechon at Isabelle.Duvaux-Bechon@esa.int