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The European Space Education Resource Office in Slovenia, ESERO Slovenia, launched

The European Space Education Resource Office in Slovenia, ESERO Slovenia, was officially opened today at Center Noordung. ESERO Slovenia is run by the Centre for School and Outdoor Education (CŠOD) in partnership with Center Noordung. By integrating space technology content into primary and secondary education, we aim to increase young people's interest in science careers.

The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) is a project of the European Space Agency (ESA). The programme aims to increase interest among young people in further education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a view to working in the field of space. The programme is developing and promoting the integration of space technology content in primary and secondary education in order to raise its profile among young people.

"Slovenia decided to participate in ESERO primarily in response to the recurring challenge of companies whose growth is hampered by a lack of highly qualified staff in STEM fields, which is crucial for the development of the space sector. Slovenia is the first ESA Associate Member to join the programme. This is very important for us. I see the energy of young people as a real force for positive change, including in the space sector," said Tanja Permozer, Head of the Slovenian Space Office.

The event was also attended by the Minister of Education Darjo Felda, ESA representative Monica Talevi, the Head of STEM Education and Outreach Unit at the ESA Education Office, and Clara Cruz Niggebrugge, the ESERO & European STEM Education Projects Coordinator.

ESA created the ESERO programme because a shortage of technical staff is also a problem in other European countries. The programme is open to ESA Member States or Associate Members at their discretion. Currently, 22 Member States are involved in the programme.

ESERO Slovenia is run by the Centre for School and Outdoor Education (CŠOD) in close partnership with Center Noordung. With ESA’s continued support, it will use its considerable experience in supporting STEM education and its extensive network of educational institutions and schools across Slovenia to ensure the high impact of ESERO’s activities across the country.

Last month, ESERO Slovenia already carried out a thorough study on the STEM education environment and space sector in the country. They have also already carried out several training sessions related to ESA’s interdisciplinary school projects and translated didactic content from ESA’s “Teach with Space” collection. On 4 December 2023, an in-flight educational talk with ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen was organised at Center Noordung.

Accredited training for teachers and educators from early childhood to upper secondary school is a key activity of ESERO Slovenia, which will introduce the state-of-the-art in various space fields, such as Earth observation and space technologies. Didactic materials for different age groups covering various STEM curriculum topics will be made available free of charge on the ESERO website through ESERO Slovenia. In addition, ESERO Slovenia, in cooperation with the national space industry and academia, will also offer inspiring events for pupils and their families, such as “Space Adventure”, hackathons, career choice activities and presentations of role models, as part of the “Space Goes to School” scheme.