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Fostering a young, creative and inclusive European Space Community

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - spaceEU (Fostering a young, creative and inclusive European Space Community)

Période du rapport: 2018-12-01 au 2020-11-30

spaceEU is a European-funded project that fosters a young, creative and inclusive European space community. The project implements an exciting space outreach and education programme to spark the interest of young people in STEAM and to encourage them to consider space-related careers
spaceEU inspires and broadens young minds, develops a sense of European and global citizenship, and through our shared human relationship with space, fosters long-term partnerships between people from different countries and cultural backgrounds.
spaceEU also lays the groundwork for the possible future establishment of a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) in the field of space.
The main project objectives are:
Design and implement sustainable education and outreach activities to inspire young people with space topics and encourage them to consider careers in space.
Communicate and celebrate the accomplishments of European space science, technology and innovation and demonstrate how European society benefits from the space sector.
Highlight past and present contributions by women and minorities to the advancement of the space field and promote a diverse and inclusive space sector.
Lay the groundwork for establishing a robust space knowledge triangle network and a potential Space KIC. To achieve its objectives, spaceEU puts forward a coherent suite of activities targeted to students, families, educators, policy-makers and the general public.
To achieve its objectives, spaceEU put forward a coherent suite of activities targeted to students, families, educators, policy makers and the general public.
The spaceEU project reached over 3 million people with the organisation of 274 spaceEU activities and produced 518 spaceEU outputs (e.g.: Engage with Space Toolkit) that will ensure the legacy of the project in the future.
Despite the large challenges imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020 during its implementation phase, the rapid reaction of the Consortium in March 2020 to identify major risks ensured that mitigation actions were in place from the beginning to adapt its plans and ensure that the project's tasks were accomplished.
spaceEU developed the Engage with Space Toolkit, a ready-to-use digital collection of space education activities. The Toolkit includes the Step into Space open source exhibition that empowers visitors to engage with space sciences and show the importance and presence of space science in our daily life. The other Toolkit element is a series of educational and activities to engage citizens with space science and careers. This Toolkit was the basis for the implementation in 10 European countries by the spaceEU Engagement Nodes.
In the framework of the teachers’ professional development activities 1,683 teachers were reached by the spaceEU project. Almost 1,000 teachers were trained by Teacher Training Institutes in 10 European countries. Moreover, the development of the “Our Fragile Planet” MOOC had a very positive impact. With over 600 participants following the course and a 48% completion rate, this MOOC helped teachers feel inspired by and about space science. Finally, two Schools for teachers were organised with participation of 53 teachers.
The spaceEU Community Engagement implementation was deployed in 10 EU countries in 2020, with a total of 141 activities surpassing the initial goal set of 95 activities. The implementation plan was one of the most impacted aspects of the project by the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, the strong network coordination and the flexibility of the 10 Engagement Nodes to adapt their activities to online settings when possible made the implementation a success.
The COVID-19 Pandemic greatly affected the evaluation of actions such as the activities performed by Engagement Nodes due to postponement of activities or the difficulties to gather data for online actions. Efforts were done until the end of the project and exploratory studies were able to be performed. The major outcome is the Impact Evaluation Toolkit, which is designed to help space educators evaluate your audience profile, quality of experience and impact.
spaceEU communication and dissemination actions reached over 2 million people in 123 countries. These actions focused on disseminating the project's activities, outcomes and outputs and relied strongly on social media.
To advocate for the importance of inclusive education and public engagement to the European space sector, 2 policy briefs were developed. Moreover, the project set up online meetings with 10 Members of the European Parliament from 5 countries and 30 prominent textbook publishers to advocate for space education. spaceEU collaborated with the H2020 project Our Space Our Future on the organisation of the online workshop Space Science for Societal Challenges that brought together 94 stakeholders from the European space sector to discuss models for collaboration across the sector to contribute effectively to societal challenges. The input from all participants was captured in a white paper.
spaceEU maximised its impacts through a series of partnerships, For example, ESA representatives attended both the kick-off meeting and the consortium meeting, and acted as informal advisors throughout the project lifespan.
The spaceEU Partners reacted to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 Pandemic with actions that went beyond the-state-of-the-art:
AE developed 2 extra versions of the exhibition suited for online and private settings. They were very helpful for the online needs of the spaceEU Engagement Nodes and as it has been widely distributed between educators networks worldwide.
EUN organised a webinar on "Converting Workshops to Online Training" to support educators turning their events to online settings. Moreover, the network of 13 Teacher Training Institutes created in spaceEU will continue to work together beyond the duration of the project. Finally, the 2020 Summer school was cancelled due to lockdown restrictions in Greece and EA turned it into a Winter School organised in November 2020. This new online setting increased the attendance to 43 teachers compared to the 10 originally planned.
The strong network coordination by ECSITE and extra commitment by the Engagement Nodes made it possible to organise more activities than the 95 foreseen on the DoA and also reaching the goals set for the different target audiences by relying on online activities and social media actions.
Due to the cancellation of the event at ESA ESTEC for social media influencers, ULEI instead focused on a larger presence on social media and especially on the collaboration with Engagement Nodes for special campaigns such as the summer program Space in Your Living Room and the Step into Space Social Media campaign.
A total of 10 MEPs were engaged at a deeper level through individual, online meetings and ULEI will follow-up with them with outcomes of spaceEU and future projects. The online workshop was attended by 94 space stakeholders, doubling what was foreseen and its outcomes in the form of a White Paper will contribute to the policy discussion on the feasibility for the KIC model for the space sector. Finally, a collaboration with the European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development was established to organise an event in the context of the United Nations’ 75th anniversary conference that included high-level speakers such as South African Minister Naledi Pandor and MEP Barry Andrews.
spaceEU event at Parque de Las Ciencias in Granada, Spain. Credit: Parque de las Ciencias
Step into Space exhibition at Ars Electronica Festival (Sep 2019) Courtesy
Step into Space exhibition at Ars Electronica Festival (Sep 2019) Courtesy AE