Nowadays a decreasing number of young people decide to take up STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) studies and careers. ESA is contributing to make a difference and reverse this negative trend through an Education programme which targets European students starting from an early age. In particular, ESA is addressing primary and secondary education in Europe through its European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) project.
What is ESERO?
The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) project is ESA's main way of supporting the primary and secondary education community in Europe.
ESERO uses space-related themes and the genuine fascination felt by young people for space to enhance school pupils’ literacy and competence in STEM-related subjects. The ESERO project also highlights the associated applications from space and raises awareness of the large range of career prospects in the space domain.
Read more about ESERO at ESA's website.
Denmark shares the same challenges as most European countries; that the need for STEM-educated people is not met by the number of young people choosing a STEM education and career. At the same time science and technology play important roles in modern society, and therefore there is a need for strong STEM competences in the next generation.
Hence there is a strong focus on STEM education in Denmark, and currently a new national strategy for STEM education is underway. The focus of the STEM strategy is two-fold; to secure STEM literacy among Danish students, and to inspire more young people to choose a STEM education and career.
Since 2013 the former Nordic ESERO covered also activities for Denmark until end of April 2017. For more than six years this has been very successful and the Danish teacher and student communities have benefited a lot from the activities of Nordic ESERO in Denmark. However, by the end of 2016 it became clear, also in consultation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, that only an independent Danish ESERO office could further increase the use of space in STEM education in Denmark. Astra has had the role of national point of contact for Nordic ESERO in Denmark since October 2015.
Organisation and funding partners
For its nature and for its former involvement with Nordic ESERO, Astra, the National Centre for Learning in Science, Technology and Health – operating under the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, therefore operates for ESERO Denmark.
It has been agreed with the Danish Delegation to ESA, that the daily coordination of ESERO activities in Denmark is most effectively undertaken by the House of Natural Sciences under agreement with Astra.
The funding partners of ESERO Denmark are, in addition to ESA:
- Astra, Project owner
- The House of Natural Sciences - daily manager of ESERO Denmark
- The Brahe Planetarium - continued development of events related to ESA missions
- The Ministry of Higher Education and Science - management of the Danish membership of ESA.
Network and Steering Group
The open ESERO Denmark network group consists of representatives from science centres, universities, companies and others, that participate in the development, offering and promotion of ESERO Denmark courses and activities under contract with ASTRA*. The network group will meet twice a year, and the group will have an advising role to the ESERO Denmark manager on the activity plan and overall strategy for ESERO Denmark.
The steering group consists of the funding partners, i.e. members from ESA Education, Astra (Head of Talent Development, Nynne Afzelius), the House of Natural Sciences (Development Manager, Maiken Lykke Lolck) the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (Special Adviser Cecilie Tornøe), Tycho Brahe Planetarium (Head of Science and Outreach, Tina Ibsen) and ESERO Denmark Manager Simon Olling Rebsdorf.
The ESERO Denmark Manager will be responsible for organising the bi-annual meetings and draft the meetings’minutes.