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Press releases


Press releases


SKYWATCH: Introducing European Youth in the World of Scientific Research through Interactive Utilization of a Global Network of Robotic Telescopes

Co-ordinator: Q-Plan Greece
Menelaos Sotiriou
Tel: + 30 210 7719000
Fax: + 30 210 7472942
E-mail: (email removed)

FWScience 2005 FWScience 2005 FWScience 2005
Date and Type
Europhysics News, EPS Magazine September/October 2005 Issue
An article titled "SkyWatch: Introducing European youth to the world of Astronomy" was published in the Europhysics News Magazine of the European Physical Society (see attached files Skywatch1, Skywatch2)
RTD info magazine August 2005 Issue
An article titled "Skywatchers get ready" was published in the RTD info magazine (see attached files Skywatchers1) , News section
SkyWatch invites everyone to design projects and activities involving the use of high powered robotic telescopes, made available for schools to use. Through the activity, pupils get the chance to work like real researchers in universities, and make the most of the advanced equipment.
There are three categories in the competition:
Age group 1 : Pupils less than 15 years old
Age group 2 : Pupils between 15 and 18 years old
Age group 3 : Adults
The competition has two main phases:
Phase 1 - young participants will use a database of astronomical observations conducted by the telescopes of the SkyWatch network of observatories. They have to pick a topic from one of the five suggested, and design a project using the database. The thirty best projects will be selected by scientists to go through to the next phase.
Phase 2 - The teams of the thirty best projects will be able to run their project in real life, and ask the observatories to make observations for them. The projects can then be refined and extended. The best three projects from each age category will then be selected as the final winners.
For more information please visit
Fresh Articles
SkyWatch Contest
SkyWatch Project invites everyone to design, develop and implement projects and activities with the use of the Robotic Telescopes.
The SkyWatch project aims to introduce the European youth in the truly wonderous world of science and technology by engaging school and university students and young science amateurs in escalating, challenging and innovative multidisciplinary Science Games combining creativity, intelligence and scientific quest. SkyWatch introduces a pan-European Science Communication and Celebration Initiative, which will reach its peak during the European Science Week 2005, comprising two main interrelated events:
a two-phase European Science Contest (concluding to a central European Exhibition and a Best Projects Award Ceremony), and
series of popular science distance learning courses (16 Science Days overall).
To perform project activities young people will be given access to an existing global network of 5 remotely controlled robotic telescopes through this innovative web-based platform. The young participants will organize teams (school classes, groups of students, etc.) and design, develop and implement their science projects, comprising astronomical observations with the use of the telescopes and under the guidance and the continuous support of experts.
For further information about the project and the Science Contest please visit the project web site:


WYP2005 - World Year of Physics 2005 - Activities in Europe

Co-ordinator: European Physical Society
Martial Ducloy
Tel: + 33389329440
Fax: + 33389329449
E-mail: (email removed)

FWScience 2005 FWScience 2005
Date and Type
September/October 2005 Issue
September/October 2005 Issue
February 2005
October 2005
February 2005

LERU-KIDS: Leru-Kids University

Co-ordinator: Universtitaet Heidelberg
Joerg Kraus
Tel: + 496221542204
Fax: + 496221543599
E-mail: (email removed)
Press Release - Kinderuni Heidelberg
The University of Heidelberg and its partners are working hard on the extension of the Kids University scheme. In November the Heidelberg model will be upgraded to the EU level in Brussels. This new stage was preceded by a joint application in the framework of the EUs Science and Society programme by Heidelberg and nine other partners in the LERU from Milan to Helsinki.

The aim of the "LERU-Kids-University" science week is to promote public understanding of research and science. The target group is made up of children aged 10 to 12 years and (indirectly) their parents. Fascination with science begins with curiosity, generating such questions as: "What makes robots clever?", "Why do we speak of thin air?" or "Why dont the stars fall out of the sky ?" At least 1000 children at each of the 10 participating universities in 8 EU countries and Switzerland will experience exciting experiments and lectures onphysics (in its broadest sense) during the Science Week. These will demonstrate the impact of science/physics on everyday life.

"So far, the Kids University idea has been restricted more or less to German-speaking countries," says the University of Heidelbergs EU liaison officer Dr. Sigurd Weinreich, who has been connected with the application from the outset and is overjoyed at the overwhelming response to the Heidelberg initiative. "Our partner universities weredead keen on the idea and the European Commission gave the application top grading."

Now there will be week-long European Kids University programmes at all ten participating universities, from 5th to 11th November. "Physics will be the central subject of the EU Kids University, which ties in ideally with the Year of Physics 2005," says project coordinator Dr. Jörg Kraus from the Research and Project Management department of the University of Heidelberg. "In addition we have the Einstein Year here in Germany, which also makes for a highly apposite context."
A Final Event including selected experiments and lectures will take place in Brussels on the 23rd November 2005 at the Natural History Museum Sciences in the Vautierstraat. The afternoon event in Brussels will be followed by an evening reception for invited representatives from the LERU network, the EU institutions and the Press.

"Right from the outset one of our main objectives was to go beyond the event character of the Kids University and make it into a focal point for an ongoing programme for children and young people and to extend this from the local level to a regional and international scale," says Dr. Jörg Kraus. "One of our priorities is to enhance the scope of the contacts between the academic world and society as a whole. Lifelong learning is a new challenge for the universities. New networks and sponsoring by the SAP AG and BASF companies in the framework of the Youth and Science Initiative in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolis Region are helping to establish these new approaches at the regional and international level."

The active presence of female scientists as key members of the project is designed to show that the natural sciences are, of course, equally accessible for women. In collaboration with media partners these messages will also be communicated to a broad public audience. The European context of the LERU-Kids-University will be presented in an exhibition. Each partner will be introduced in a poster, ensuring that the background of the science week becomes comprehensible. The exhibition will be accompanied by short films about the participating universities.

The message of the Kids-University will be: Universities are partners in lifelong learning and this can take place at a European or international level. Barriers to the understanding of the daily use of physics should be identified and overcome. The principal objective is to foster interest in science and physics on the part of children in Europe.

For more information, please refer to our .

On the above home page there are links to the local programmes:
8 of the LERU partners will have their Kids University Week from 5th - 11th November 2005.

Leiden and Leuven will have their Kids University Week from: 26th - 30th October 2005.

Photographs are provided by David Ausserhofer from the Kuenheim Stiftung.

Please click here to download the press releases in German
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