Ice breaker activity STW 2015 220For the National Space Academy; the summer term is one of the busiest times with programmes and activities going on around the country. August is a time for the team to sit back and reflect on the successes of the year and to take a breath before next the new term begins.  Each week in August the National Space Academy will post a new news article about a project or activity the team has been involved in.

Each year ESA (the European Space Agency) invites teachers from around its member states to a Summer Teaching Conference, and this year was no different. Hosted at the ESTEC (European Space and Technology Centre) in the Netherlands, the four day event this summer had its highest ever attendance of primary and secondary teachers.

The 60 primary and 60 secondary teachers were provided with workshops and sessions, delivered by both the National Space Academy and ESA Education team, showcasing how to take the inspirational ideas of space and make them accessible in the classroom.  The teachers were also treated to inspirational talks from ESA Astronaut Andre Kuipers and Rosetta Project Scientist Matt Taylor, which gave them plenty of specialist space knowledge to pass on to their students.

Workshops were run by National Space Academy team members: Anu Ojha, Sophie Allan, Judith Green, and supported by Mike Grocott, Principal of the Banbury Space Studio School.  The Conference is also a great forum for education organisations to get feedback from the attending teachers and for all involved to network and learn from each other.

Special congratulations must go to Mike who was nominated this year for a space achievement award in Education and Outreach from the Royal Astronomical Society and UK Space Agency.

One teacher who attended the conference, Jeremy Carter from Bradfield School said:

"One of the difficulites of being a secondary teacher, is I teach children from the age of 11 to 18, so what they need and how they learn is very different, what is great is i can go back and teach the younger kids that's going to inspire and enthuse them, at the same time, I can take things which are still going to inspire them at 16, 17, but also give them that rigourous education"

The image and video below showcases the popularity of the ESA summer teacher workshops.

Credit ESA Education

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