Evelin Lumi

Teachers’ course “United by Space” received a special prize from Andras

The Association of Estonian Adult Educators Andras gave the Tartu county education deed award of the year to the UT Tartu Observatory and the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Estonia’s continuing education course for teachers “United by Space”. The best adult educators of Tartu county 2023 were awarded at the appreciation event for the educators of the city and county of Tartu in the University of Tartu assembly hall on 28 September.

ESERO Estonia’s continuing education courses are comprehensive, interesting and inspired by space. Heli Lätt, Head of the Visitor Centre of Tartu Observatory, is in charge of the courses. Together with Tõnis Rüütel, she conducted a survey before starting the training courses to identify the three topics that Estonian teachers consider most important, and that need to be covered during the training. The survey results show that teachers are most interested in 

1) new and modern teaching materials that are appropriate for the curriculum;

2) lectures by experts in the field;

3) developing communication and cooperation between teachers at the school.

The first part of the course “United by Space” offers practical advice on integrating space themes into different subjects. Although the course is intended to promote STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), the instructors also know how to link space topics with, for example, music and physical education.

Heleri Ramler Rannu koolis - Tartu Ülikool

The second part features a popular science presentation by a space scientist or engineer, who briefly introduces their profession, interspersed with current science news or experiments. The speakers have presented exciting stories about the James Webb space telescope and the Estonian student satellite ESTCube.

Õpetajate koolitus Rõngus - Tartu Ülikool - ESERO

In the final part of the course, teachers work in groups to plan a space week or a space day according to the needs and possibilities of their school. For example, after the course, Pühajärve Basic School organised a space day called “Hello, space!” on the International Day of Human Space Flight, 12 April.  

Andras is a non-governmental organisation promoting lifelong learning, established in 1991.

ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) is a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and local partners, aiming to support primary and secondary education and enhance pupils’ interest in STEM-related subjects by promoting space-related themes.

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