Space education experts assemble in Leicester for ESA conference

Space education experts from across Europe are gathering at the University this week for the third European Space Agency Symposium on Space Educational Activities, which runs 16-18 September.

This prestigious event provides an international stage for students and academics to discuss current and future Space Educational Activities in Europe and beyond, focusing on university level activities as well as opportunities for learners and educators at high school.

Talks will showcase student projects, some involving real missions in which students design and build satellites which are launched and operated in space. Other topics include:
  • technologies for training the next generation of space engineers and scientists,
  • how universities and employers can work together so that graduates have the skills needed by industry,
  • and improving the representation of women in the sector.
Previously held in Padua and Budapest, the choice of Leicester for the third ESA educational symposium reflects the importance of space and space-related education to both the city and the University. Leicester is home to the National Space Centre and the forthcoming Space Park Leicester. 

The University of Leicester is a leading institution in both x-ray astronomy and Earth observation science, with a history of more than 50 years of space education. At least one-Leicester-built instrument has been operating in space every year since 1968. The University offers undergraduate courses in Physics with Space Science and Physics with Astrophysics, and postgraduate degrees in Space Exploration Systems and Satellite Data Science.

As part of the industry event, there will be a free public lecture, delivered by TV presenter and author Dallas Campbell, on ‘How to Make a Spacesuit’. This will be held on Tuesday 17 September, starting at 7.00pm, in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre on the University campus. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

The Third ESA Symposium on Space Educational Activities is jointly hosted by the University of Leicester, UKSEDS and the National Space Academy (NSA). UKSEDS is the UK’s national student space society, which runs space projects, hosts conferences, workshops and careers events, and delivers outreach activities across the country. NSA is a not-for-profit organisation created with the goals of using space science contexts in curriculum education to boost student attainment and enhance teacher effectiveness in science and maths, and to facilitate pathways into space sector careers by working with industry as well as education providers. 

The symposium is supported by the UK Space Agency, the Royal Astronomical Society and the European Space Education Resource Office.