ESA announces workshop for science teachers

8 May 2009

The European Space Agency invites teachers of science at secondary school to register to attend a Galileo Teacher Training Program Workshop to be held at the NEMO Science Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 29 June to 1 July 2009.  A limited number of places are available for this hands-on workshop. Registration closes on 25 May 2009.

Develop new skills, refresh existing lessons

The workshop, organised by the European Space Agency as part of the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), a cornerstone of the International Year of Astronomy, is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to gain practical hands-on skills to enable them to teach the physical sciences, in particular physics, using astronomy and space science as vehicles for engaging the current generation of second level students with science. This timely workshop is ideal for teachers who are new to teaching the physical sciences or for those who wish to bring fresh ideas to their lessons. The content of the workshop is particularly suited to teachers of pre-University students, those in the final years of secondary school.

The workshop is organised in a series of hands-on sessions in which expert teachers will present proven classroom activities in which key scientific elements are taught using examples from astronomy and space science. The programme for the workshop highlights ESA educational resources and includes sessions on the use of robotic telescopes and image processing software.

A rich variety of astronomy resources is readily available but experienced educators and outreach specialists have identified a critical impediment: many teachers lack the training to understand these resources or use them effectively in their curricula. This ESA/GTTP workshop will address this problem by providing participants with ample time during the workshop to test the activities and to become sufficiently confident with the material to be able to adapt the material to the requirements of their national curricula.

Become a Galileo Teacher

Participants at the ESA/GTTP workshop will be eligible to be certified as a "Galileo Teacher". This is a tangible recognition of their professional development as a science teacher. The creation of a global network of Galileo Teachers, capable of continuing to implement the effective use and transfer of astronomy education tools and resources into classroom science curricula, will be one of the primary legacies of the GTTP.

Limited places - register now

The workshop is limited to 20 places. Teachers who wish to participate should register before 12:00 CEST on Monday 25 May 2009 by sending an email to:

with the following information:


  • Name of teacher (participant)
  • Name and address of school.


 Who can apply?

The workshop is open to teachers of the physical sciences, especially physics, (those who are currently teaching, or plan to teach in the forthcoming academic year) in secondary schools of ESA Member States and Cooperating States*.

The working language of the workshop will be English so participants must have a sufficient command of the English language to enable them to fully participate in the hands-on activities. A limited amount of financial support, which may be used to offset the costs of travel and accommodation, is available to teachers from ESA Member States and Cooperating States. There is no fee for the workshop.


The deadline for receipt of applications is 12:00 CEST on Monday 25 May 2009.

Successful applicants will be informed that they have secured a place at the workshop on or before Friday 29 May. The workshop begins at 9:00 CEST on Monday 29 June and concludes on Wednesday 1 July at 16:00 CEST.

 A draft programme for the workshop will soon be available.

Workshop location

The workshop will be held in the NEMO Science Centre, located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. NEMO is within easy walking distance of Amsterdam Central Station which provides easy access to public transport throughout the city, to neighbouring towns, and to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. A variety of accommodation is available in Amsterdam and the surrounding region. Examples of possible accommodation can be found here [see link below]

More information

Further details about the workshop can be obtained from: Karen O'Flaherty (


ESA and the International Year of Astronomy

The vision for the International Year of Astronomy is the realisation that astronomy and other fundamental sciences have a profound impact on our daily lives. ESA has already made an outstanding contribution to the field of astronomy, and space science, and continues to push technological frontiers to deepen our understanding of the Universe.  ESA is contributing to the International Year of Astronomy in two ways: by direct involvement in a selected number of IYA cornerstone activities, and with special activities designed to promote ESA's special place in modern astronomy. This workshop is organised by the ESA Science and Robotic Exploration Directorate, with the support of the ESA Education Office, in the framework of the International Year of Astronomy

About the Galileo Teacher Training Program

The Galileo Teacher Training Program, a cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy, will promote astronomy education in classrooms around the world. The International Astronomical Union, in collaboration with leaders in the field of astronomy education and participating nations, will provide educators with the knowledge, tools and resources necessary to bring astronomy into classroom science curricula.

* The 18 ESA Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Canada, Hungary, Poland and Romania participate in some ESA projects under cooperation agreements.



GTTP at IYA2009: 

ESA Education:

European Space Education Resource Office:

ESA IYA2009:


Accommodation in the region:;checkin_monthday=28;checkin_year_month=2009-6;checkout_monthday=1;checkout_year_month=2009-7;city=-2140479;class_interval=1;si=ai%2Cco%2Cci%2Cre;ss=Amsterdam;ss_all=0;ssne=Amsterdam;radius=10;order=price


Funding cap for ESA/GTTP workshop:

The funding for participants at the ESA/GTTP workshop is capped according to this table which takes account of the spread of distances between Amsterdam and the ESA Member States and Cooperating Countries. Participants will be reimbursed their travel and accommodation costs, up to the limit specified below, upon receipt of original invoices. More information in the following PDF:

Organisational Associates:

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is endorsed by the United Nations and the International Council of Science.