Late 2006 Belgium joined an educational pilot project of the European Space Agency. The purpose of the project was to set up a space education resource center in the countries participating in the pilot program. An explorative research towards the needs of the Belgian education landscape concerning space and astronomy, gave ESERO Belgium the knowledge needed to start up the project. Space is regarded as something fascinating, therefore it is an excellent subject to make children familiar with science and technology. A lot of teachers feel the same way but the research showed that teachers (or other educators) are often scared of communicating about space. They feel insecure about their knowledge of the subject and thus try to avoid communicating about this subject or do so in a not very exciting nor interactive way. This is where ESERO steps in. Not only does ESERO provide high quality educational material (about space and astronomy) for teachers, youth organizations, etc to use, the project manager also organizes workshops for them to explain how to make optimal use of the material and to help them in their communication about the subject.

Almost three years later ESERO Belgium has booked some big and small successes. We have organized major events about space (with astronauts present at the events), to introduce the theme “space” and also astronomy to kids and youngsters of various age groups. We have developed teaching material, and are still developing more teaching aids. We are providing workshops regarding communicating about space for teachers, educators and most importantly student-teachers. The student-teachers are a very important target group, they are the new generation of educators who need to stimulate and get our children enthusiastic about science and technology. ESERO Belgium would like to introduce the project in a parallel session at the PCST conference. ESERO is regarded a best practice case for communicating about space. We have build up some extensive experience concerning the do’s and don’ts in teaching the teachers communicate about space and space-related subjects. ESERO Belgium is located at the Planetarium in Brussels.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Communicating about space
The final frontier?

Ellen Geerts   European Space Education Resource Office

Late 2006 Belgium joined an educational pilot project of the European Space Agency. The purpose of the project was to set up a space education resource center in the countries participating in the pilot program. An explorative research towards the needs of the Belgian education landscape concerning space and astronomy, gave ESERO Belgium the knowledge needed to start up the project. Space is regarded as something fascinating, therefore it is an excellent subject to make children familiar with science and technology. A lot of teachers feel the same way but the research showed that teachers (or other educators) are often scared of communicating about space. They feel insecure about their knowledge of the subject and thus try to avoid communicating about this subject or do so in a not very exciting nor interactive way. This is where ESERO steps in. Not only does ESERO provide high quality educational material (about space and astronomy) for teachers, youth organizations, etc to use, the project manager also organizes workshops for them to explain how to make optimal use of the material and to help them in their communication about the subject.

Almost three years later ESERO Belgium has booked some big and small successes. We have organized major events about space (with astronauts present at the events), to introduce the theme “space” and also astronomy to kids and youngsters of various age groups. We have developed teaching material, and are still developing more teaching aids. We are providing workshops regarding communicating about space for teachers, educators and most importantly student-teachers. The student-teachers are a very important target group, they are the new generation of educators who need to stimulate and get our children enthusiastic about science and technology. ESERO Belgium would like to introduce the project in a parallel session at the PCST conference. ESERO is regarded a best practice case for communicating about space. We have build up some extensive experience concerning the do’s and don’ts in teaching the teachers communicate about space and space-related subjects. ESERO Belgium is located at the Planetarium in Brussels.

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