First Europlanet Science Communication Training Workshop

‘Engaging with Schools: Training for Researchers’, Athens, Greece, Tuesday 5th July 2016

Engaging with schools
School science project presentation in the Netherlands.

Astronomy, space and planetary sciences offer an inspiring context for science and technology lessons in the classroom. Students are captivated by the fascinating universe: from galaxies and planets, to space travel, satellites and the search for extraterrestrial life. By engaging with schools, researchers can have a positive impact on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

In July 2016, Europlanet RI 2020 offered a free, one-day training workshop for researchers aiming to develop their skills and experience in engaging with education, schools and teachers. The workshop coincided with the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) 2016 in Athens, Greece.

Workshop Overview

The one-day workshop provided an opportunity for scientists to come in contact with best practices in school engagement, encourage them to build communication skills and confidence to engage with schools, and develop their own engagement session based on their field of interest. Furthermore, the workshop equipped participants with the knowledge needed to plan and execute engaging school activities effectively. Finally, the Dutch project managers of the European project Teaching Enquiry with Mysteries (TEMI) introduced a method for inquiry based science education (ISBE) in both informal and formal education.

Participants in this workshop:

  • Identified a variety of approaches for engaging with schools
  • Explored key ingredients needed for a high-quality school engagement activity
  • Discovered tools and resources to use in their engagement with schools
  • Prepareed an educational session based on their personal research interests
  • Gained practical experience by engaging with teachers
  • Were introduced to Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)
  • Learned how inquiry based learning can be incorporated in science education


Coral Hotel, 35 Possidonos Avenue, Paleo Faliron, 17561, Athens, Greece


Introduction to the day/presenters
Engaging schools – a practical approach
Getting teachers on board

Coffee Break

Examples of successful school engagement activities
Tools and resources to promote real research in classroom

Lunch break

Introduction IBL & TEMI Methodology
Big Science Mysteries
Create education scenario in groups

Coffee break

Group activity: present scenarios and peer review
Conclusion: Tips and Tricks for School/Researchers long lasting collaborations

The Trainers
Rosa Doran is an astronomy educator and a leader of the global teacher training programmes in astronomy, Galileo Teacher Training Programme (GTTP) and Global Hands On Universe (GHOU).

TEMI_logoWouter Schrier is an astronomer, currently active as study advisor for the Leiden University astronomy Institute and as project manager for international science education programmes like Universe Awareness and TEMI.

Iris Nijman is a biomedical scientist and science communicator, working for the Leiden University astronomy institute as project manager for international science education programmes like Universe Awareness and TEMI.


Celebrating Juno’s Arrival at Jupiter: Tuesday, 5 July 2016, Athens

The training workshop was followed by a public event to celebrate the arrival of the Juno mission at Jupiter.  Find out more