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The ESA Education Programme and its ESA Academy

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-07-14, 13:28 authored by Hugo Marée, Piero Galeone, Alexander Kinnaird, Natacha Callens
The European Space Agency’s Education Programme, composed of the Primary and Secondary STEM Education Programme for younger students, and the ESA Academy Programmefor university students, is strongly committed not only to inspire,butalsoto actively engagestudents. The Primary and Secondary STEM Education Programme’s aim is to use space as a teaching context to enhance youngsters’ literacy, skills and competences as well as to develop the pupils’ core values and attitudes in STEMdisciplines, and to inspire and to motivate them to pursue studies and careers in the STEM sector. The ESA Academy, the overarching education programme for university students, uses space asthe subject, and is designed to equip the next generation of professionals working inthe space sectorwith 21st century skills and competences,with the objective of enhancingtheir employability,and stimulatingtheir creativity, innovativenessand entrepreneurship.The ESA Academy encompassesa portfolio of hands-on ‘Space’ projects ranging from scientific and technology-demonstration experiments to be run on a number of different professional platforms, to small satellite missions such as CubeSats; complimented by a varied portfolio of training sessions given by space professionals coming from all fields of ESA’s expertise, as well as from space industry and academia.Every year hundreds of students participate in ESA Academy’sactivities, with students participating in launch and experiment campaigns conducted at state of the art facilities located at several centres of excellence around Europe, and amassing an impressive portfolio of space-relatedand research experience. In order to be eligible to participate in the ESA Academy programmes, students must be nationals of one of the 22 ESA Member States, or Canada or Slovenia. Operating with students coming from across 24 different statesand at different levels of their university studies, comes with a unique set of challenges, including, but not limited to, interacting with different national academic approaches, different academic schedules, student engagement levels, gender and inclusiveness, and team funding. The Education Office has risen to these challenges and has developed a comprehensive and inclusive programme framework, which continues to develop as new challengesand new opportunitiesare identified. The ESA Academy is moving forward with the confidence that the future generations of space professionals in the ESA Member States may benefit from getting the best training and hands-on experience to supportthe future of the European space sector. The ESA Academy aims to reinforce, and even to further develop, its offering of programmes and training sessions over the coming years.



Proceedings of the 3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities, 2019, pp. 251-257


3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities, September 16-18, 2019, Leicester, United Kingdom


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Symposium organised by: University of Leicester, UK Students for the Exploration & Development of Space, National Space Academy, ESA Education Office


Nigel Bannister, Áine O’Brien, Alexander Kinnaird

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