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COMPET-10-2014 - Outreach through education

Specific challenge: Space endeavours bear a significant potential of inspiration and motivation for the younger generations. Positive exposure to and experiences in the space domain can contribute moreover to building long-term partnerships between peoples from different cultural backgrounds and countries inside and outside Europe. The challenge is to design and run sustainable outreach activities which can act as catalysers, motivating pupils and students at different ages and education levels. Proposals which could be implemented across different cultures, inside and outside Europe, would be considered.

Scope: One of the main obstacles for the development and sustainability of the European space industrial fabric (and the delivery of cutting-edge scientific achievements) is the lack of scientists, engineers and technicians with specific interest on the area of space research and development.

The main delivery of the action should be an initiative capable of attracting the interest of a significant number of students towards space, while creating at the same time a relevant impact outside the targeted population in terms of news coverage, social-media interest, stakeholders’ involvement, etc.

The key advancements of the European space initiatives (Seventh Framework Programme-Horizon 2020 projects, Copernicus and Galileo) should be given a privileged position in the proposal, but the main objective should remain attracting the interest of students, mainly European, for space exploration science and technology.

Proposals should take into account similar activities of ESA and national education programmes. They could focus in the context of the classroom or outside the normal classroom environment, including contests.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: The expected impact as a whole is developing and testing certain tools and mechanisms for children and/or teenagers (and potentially teachers) to know more about space science and technology and the European initiatives in this field. The testing of tools should pay special attention to potential differentiated results in terms of gender or socioeconomic status.

By the end of the action the initiative should have proven its capacity to:

         Reach out to a significant number of students among the target group and stimulate an active response among a significant number of them.

         Achieve a significant coverage by media and attention by stakeholders.

         Potentially, being able to track and estimate the results of the action, sampling the numbers of students involved and the numbers of students that opt for a technical career related to space when compared to the general population of students in their cohorts.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions