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Teacher Conference on Science Communication and Popularization

 

The Malta Council for Science and Technology in collaboration with the Malta Association of Science Educators organised a science teachers conference through the FP7 PLACES project. The conference was held on the 7th December at the Intercontinental Hotel St.Julians.

 

In this project MCST has chosen to promote the importance of research and innovation. The conference offers a unique opportunity for teachers to participate in workshops and debates on how schools can support Form 2 students to appreciate and experience the role of scientists in research and innovation for industry as a different perspective of science prior to their choice subject selection. The use of IBSE to help students understand the research and innovation is also promoted.

 

Teachers were invited to submit an application to run a workshop for teachers on IBSE teaching in Science Education and which promotes the research and innovation aspect of science. Four workshops will be selected to participate on the day. A panel of judges will present an award to the Best IBSE workshop.

 

For more details,  click here.

 

 
Science Educators visit the European Space Agency

 

 

In August, a group of science educators had the opportunity to visit the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) situated in Noordwijk in the Netherlands. This centre is the largest branch of the European Space Agency (ESA), and is a test centre and hub for European space activities. It has the responsibility for the technical preparation and management of ESA projects and provides technical support to ESA’s ongoing satellite, space exploration and human space activities.

 

On their arrival at ESA the participants were greeted by Robert Willemsen from the ESTEC Communications Office and given an overview of the main facilities of the Agency spread all across Europe. This was accompanied by a detailed presentation explaining the various projects which ESA presently has on board. These include extensive research programmes for satellite development, probes and robotics. In one of its projects, ESA produced a model of the Earth’s gravitational field that is the most accurate to date. Through the Galileo satellite navigation system the Agency also aims to develop Europe’s own navigation system which will eventually be independent of other countries. Other projects include the development of telecom programmes and integrated applications. Lastly, the function of launchers, namely the Ariane 5 used to launch satellites in space, was explained. After the presentation, the group visited the laboratories where the design and testing of satellites and materials takes place. At the Erasmus centre the educators toured the Erasmus Highbay, where returned satellites, various prototypes and instruments used in different missions are kept. A 3D virtual tour of the International Space Station (ISS) followed under the guidance of Andrea Conigli.

 

Since ESA was established more than 30 years ago, another of its important tasks has been to inform the public about the latest advances and discoveries in the space field and to develop programmes that will inspire young people to pursue careers in science and technology. Helen Page, Head of Primary and Secondary Activities at ESA, explained in detail the numerous educational programmes designed specifically for European students aged from 6 to 28 to help them gain and maintain an interest in science and technology. These have the long-term objectives of contributing towards the creation of a knowledge-based society and providing a qualified workforce for the Agency that will ensure Europe’s continued leadership in space activities. The Maltese educators were able to observe samples of the material that both students and teachers are provided with during these programmes, which at present are only open to member countries, and that can be used to assist with the learning process.

 

The visit at ESTEC ended with an extensive guided tour of the Space Expo. There, the participants had the chance to go into a real size model of the different chambers that make up the ISS. Teachers also experienced what astronauts feel during a launch into space and observed real satellites and parts of launchers, as well as the different equipment used by the astronauts during their space missions and training.

 

On a separate day the group also visited the NEMO interactive science centre found in Amsterdam. It is the largest science centre in the Netherlands with five floors full of exciting things to do and discover. There, the educators assisted to exhibitions, theatre performances, films, workshops and demonstrations that were all directly connected to science and technology. This visit enriched them with lots of ideas all from the realm of inquiry based learning which they can use with their students in class.

 

The trip was organised by MASE and supported by the Maltese Council for Science and Technology (MCST).

 
Trip to visit the European Space Agency

 

ESA logo

 

MASE is organising a trip to Holland this summer between the 13th and 19th August 2012. It includes a once in a lifetime visit to the ESTEC facility in Noordwijlk - Netherlands: the largest site and technical heart of the European Space Agency (ESA). We will also be visiting Nemo Science Centre amongst other places of interest.

 

Full Programme

 

Space is limited, so we suggest that if you are interested, you inform MASE straight away. To book your place and request further information send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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