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EU SPACE AWARENESS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EUSPACE-AWE (EU SPACE AWARENESS)

Période du rapport: 2016-03-01 au 2018-02-28

EUSPACE-AWE uses the excitement of space to attract young people into science and technology and stimulate European and global citizenship. EUSPACE-AWE targets diverse groups that are influential in the complex processes that lead to career decisions. The project was designed to show teenagers the opportunities offered by space science and engineering and inspire primary-school children when their curiosity is high, their value systems are being formed and seeds of future aspirations are being sown.

EUSPACE-AWE engages children and teenagers directly and indirectly through educators and families. A coherent suite of EUSPACE-AWE activities: (1) Acquainted young people with topical cutting-edge research and “role-model” engineers, (2) Demonstrated to teachers the power of space as a motivational tool and the opportunities offered by space careers, (3) Provided a repository of innovative peer-reviewed educational resources, including toolkits highlighting aspects of Galileo and Copernicus and (4) Set up a “space career hub”.

High-quality educational resources have been compiled, developed, and distributed through an extensive dissemination and partner network in 23 countries. Among these resources are Space Scoops, career stories, citizen science projects, and an extensive repository of educational activities aimed at both Primary School and Secondary School education. Activities also include educator support and professional training through workshops and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), as well as high-impact events for teachers and policy-makers at the European Parliament. Professional evaluation and sustainability are high priority aspects of the project. Results aim for a better understanding of the career aspirations of space-related workers, the vision that children have of space and space science, and the identification of best practices towards stimulating the next generations of space scientists.

EUSPACE-AWE features partners across Europe and Africa. It exploits extensive international networks of schools and science museums to reach teachers, educators, and the general public and works closely with the European Space Agency. The three-year project started in March 2015 and is coordinated by Leiden University.

Since its launch in March 2015, EUSPACE-AWE has reached more than 200,000 people directly, including 4,014 students and 5,799 education professionals. More than 150 activities were organised during the project, amongst them, 34 local teacher training, 4 Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), 1 international Space Education Conference, and 2 summer schools. More than 300 resources were developed, or reviewed, by the project team.

There is strong evidence that all of the intended outcomes, as identified by the Evaluation Framework, were achieved within the EUSPACE-AWE programme. In brief: the EUSPACE-AWE activities were considered interesting and useful and participants also expressed a range of other positive emotions associated with their teaching and learning of space science. They reported greater appreciation of the relevance and diversity of space science contributions and gained substantial factual knowledge relating to the specific topics covered. The interdisciplinary relevance of space science was highlighted by many participants as one of the aspects they liked most about the activities and resources.
Over the course of the EUSPACE-AWE project, a total 305 resources were developed and released by the project:
- 76 educational activities;
- 114 Space Scoops;
- 69 videos;
- 16 career profiles;
- 19 interviews;
- 10 webinars;
- 1 brochure

Also, the project organised more than 160 activities:
- 34 teacher trainings across 15 countries;
- 4 MOOCs, with participants from 68 countries;
- 10 live webinars
- 1 international Space Education Conference
- 2 Summer Schools
- 109 public talks and other events

A successful space education workshop was organised in October 2016 in Leiden, with the collaboration of the European Space Agency and the Galileo Teacher Training Programme. 100 professional educators participated in a 5 days’ conference that offered presentations and workshops.
Throughout the project, an extensive Evaluation Framework was embedded in all resources and activities performed by EUSPACE-AWE, continuously testing them against the intended outcomes of the project. This allowed the project to evaluate the effectiveness of the different resources and activities offered by EUSPACE-AWE, and to improve them where necessary.
Also two large-scale Europe-wide surveys were conducted through the project. The first survey recruited 450 self-identified 'space scientists' from over 30 countries, to reflect retrospectively on what influenced their decisions relating to space and technical career choices. The second survey involved 8,283 current pupils aged 9 - 16 from 11 countries across Europe, exploring their attitudes and opinions towards science in general as well as space science in particular.
- The project organised two competitions: (1) an international Space Scoop Comic contest (2016) and a Teaching Competition (2017), with more than 600 people participating in both contests.
- EU Space Awareness collaborates strongly with ESA. The two partners co-organised an international workshop on space education together with the Galileo Teacher Training Program in October 2016. This joint organisation allowed the workshop to be enriched with additional resources and speakers with expertise in science and education. With this collaboration, the number of participants to the workshop increased from the 50 people planned in the DoA to 100.
- To build up more audience and to increase the usage of the EUSPACE-AWE resources, the project team has contacted several large national and international online repositories that offer educational resources for Primary School and Secondary School education, feature and distribute our resources through these online repositories. This has resulted in more than 130 EUSPACE-AWE resources to be published on 6 different external online repository. This in turn offers a strong increase in our reach, while simultaneously strengthening the project's sustainability.
- In 2016 and 2017, the WP2 team carried out two 6-day summer courses for almost 50 teachers in Greece. The aim of these summer schools was to bring teachers from different countries together and have them participate collaboratively on a 'mission to Mars'. The summer schools were designed for teaching professionals in STEM disciplines, and to show them how to integrate space related themes in their teaching using interdisciplinary learning and inquiry-based science teaching methods.
- Finally, EUSPACE-AWE co-sponsored a symposium on Science Diplomacy and International Development at the Leiden University Campus in The Hague on 27 February 2018 to mark the closing of the project. The keynote lecture on Science Diplomacy and the Square Kilometre Array was given by South African Minister of Science and Development, Professor Naledi Pandor. Her central thesis was that science and technology cooperation should be close to the centre of international development cooperation activities. Science and technology underpin the modernisation and development of any national socio-economic and industrial systems, and international cooperation in this field will therefore contribute directly to national (or regional) development.
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