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Year-round activities

26 December 2014 - 1 January 2015: Saint-Barthélemy, Italy
ESO Astronomy Camp for secondary school students

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and its Science Outreach Network is collaborating with the science education event organiser Sterrenlab to arrange the second edition of the ESO Astronomy Camp that will take place at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley.

The camp will explore the theme of distances in astronomy through lectures, hands-on activities, and nighttime observations with the telescopes and instruments at the observatory. Social activities, winter sports, and excursions will contribute to making the camp a memorable experience for the participants. 

Language: English
Location: Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta Valley located in Saint-Barthelemy (Nus), Italy
Price: 500 EUR with the possibility to win ESO and national bursaries that will be awarded to the winning applicants.

More information:

All year: 10 locations around the UK
Training courses: Science continuing professional development

The national network of Science Learning Centres, set up by the UK Department for Skills and Education and the Wellcome Trust, provides continuing professional education for everyone involved in UK science education, at all levels. With nine regional centres and a national centre in York, access to innovative and inspiring courses is within reach across the UK. The centres not only deliver hundreds of courses, but also act as a focus for all the science learning activities in their region.

More information:

All year: Elder Museum of Science and Technology, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Workshops for students

The Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología offers a variety of workshops for school children of different ages, both at specific dates throughout the year, and after previous booking. Topics include light, electromagnetism, measuring the cosmos, the heart of life, and sun dials, as well as special topics related to temporary exhibitions. In addition, the museum offers specific itineraries for school classes, for example on the Canarian ecosystem, our body, or robots - thinking machines.

More information:

All year: over 200 locations around Germany
Workshops for students: Lernort Labor, Student Labs

The co-ordinating body for labs for school students in Germany, Lernort Labor, invites teachers to take their classes to visit these labs at universities, science institutes, science centres, museums and in industry. The workshops, which run in German, provide hands-on science and can be found all across Germany.

More information:

All year: Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow, UK
Free teacher visits

Teachers, classroom assistants, nursery teachers and technicians are invited to visit the Glasgow Science Centre free of charge, to explore and investigate what is on offer.

More information:

Contact: +44 (0)141 420 5010

All year: many Scottish venues, UK
School visits: BodyWorks

Supported by GlaxoSmithKline, the Glasgow Science Centre’s BodyWorks programme brings the fun of the science centre directly to schools and community groups throughout Scotland. The programme offers an array of exciting workshops, live science shows, interactive exhibits and debates. Everything is designed to be hands-on and to complement Curriculum for Excellence.

More information:

Contact: +44 (0)141 420 5020

All year: Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
Field trip: Rockpools

The Pembrokeshire Darwin Science Festival invites all primary schools in Pembrokeshire to book a rockpool ramble and identification field trip. The course is aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 8-11), takes half a day and is led by three qualified marine scientists. Cost: £250 with a bus or £170 without a bus. Maximum 30 children.

More information:
Contact: Marten Lewis (

All year: Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
Workshops: Primary school

The Pembrokeshire Darwin Science Festival offers a double workshop visit for a maximum of 30 Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 8-11) and costs £200. The group is split into two workshops, which run simultaneously:

  • Plankton / microscopy identification workshop
  • Energy workshop using dynamos, solar panels and a steam engine as hands-on props.

Also available are three 90-minute workshops, each for a maximum of 20 pupils and costing £120:

  • Oil-spill workshop for Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 8-11)
  • Climate-change workshop for Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 8-11)
  • Marine-litter workshop for Key Stage 1 pupils (ages 4-7).

More information:
Contact: Marten Lewis (

All year: Paris-Montagne, Paris, France
Science Academy

During the year, Paris-Montagne runs an outreach programme at a national scale, in Paris and five cities in the south and east of France. The Science Académie programme targets high-school students interested in science but not confident enough to enrol in undergraduate studies due to social and cultural hindrances. The programme offers them the opportunity to discover science through one-week immersion in research laboratories during holidays. After these internships, they are provided with a large choice of activities (meetings with researchers, conferences, visits to labs and science museums).

These regular events contribute to the formation of a young and passionate community, in which high-school students propose and lead many new activities. In 2011, five years since the launch of Paris-Montagne, the total number of participants in the Science Académie reached 1000 across the country.

The most dedicated participants in the programme are offered the chance to take part in a summer camp during the Paris-Montagne science festival in July, and also to attend other scientific summer camps in Europe (e.g. the London International Youth Science Forum in the UK; the International Science Summer Camp in Aalborg, Denmark; Petnica in Serbia; Kut Diak in Hungary; and Visnjan in Croatia).

More information:

All year: Portugal
School visits: MIT professors go to Portuguese secondary schools

Ciência Viva organises short talks by MIT professors in Portuguese secondary schools, as part of a co-operation between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Portuguese universities in the areas of bioengineering, sustainable energy and transport systems. The students have direct contact with MIT professors and can discuss their ideas and ask questions about these important engineering areas.

Schools are selected based on their motivation for participating in the programme and on the projects they have developed in the areas of science and engineering.

More information:

All year: INTECH, Hands-on Interactive Science and Discovery Centre, Winchester, UK
Free teacher visits

Teachers are invited to visit INTECH, the hands-on interactive science and discovery centre free of charge, or to attend a teacher preview session to discover what is available for school visits and workshops.

More information:
Contact: Angela Ryde-Weller (

All year: EURAC tower, Bolzano, Italy
Science café

EURAC, the European Academy Bolzano, is an institute for applied research and further education. Its science café is an evening event series in which scientists and artists meet in an informal atmosphere to engage in scientific dialogue in front of the general public, over a glass of wine, with music and wonderful views of the city of Bolzano. A presenter leads a one-hour-discussion of topical science issues, after which a DJ creates an inviting atmosphere to linger and chat. The discussions (in Italian and German) are recorded and provided online as videos, audio files and photos on the EURAC tower website, where you can also find this year's programme or sign up for the newsletter.

Why not plan an evening visit with your class to the science café?

More information:

All year: Matheon, Berlin, Germany
Maths activities and workshops for schools

The DFG Research Center Matheon offers a range of activities to show that maths can be vivid, up-to-date, and fun.

Rent the Center: on request, Matheon researchers come to your school to give a lesson on their research topics, presented in a way appropriate to the students' age. The idea is to demonstrate that not all maths problems have already been solved or are to be found in school books, but that maths is a vivid and creative science.

Matheredaktion: five times a year, editors of school newspapers are invited to the Matheon centre to find out about research there and to write about it. In small discussion groups, mathematicians explain current projects in an intelligible way, while answering the young and curious reporters' questions.

Mathinside - Urania: under the slogan 'Maths is everywhere', Matheon researchers give a lecture series in Berlin, primarily addressed at students in grades 10-13 (ages 16 and above) but open to everybody. Topics include the use of maths in mobile phones, cars, medical equipment, public transport and the stock exchange.

The activities are run in German, but other languages may be possible on request.
More information:
Contact: Dr Alina Shmakova ( or Dr Falk Ebert (

All year: Institute for Mathematics, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany
Lectures: maths didactics

The Institute for Mathematics offers a weekly lecture series on maths didactics. The lectures cover various aspects of teaching maths at school, from the primary to the secondary level. Lectures are held in German, and teachers are welcome.

For the full programme, see:

All year: venues throughout Germany
Workshops for maths teachers

The German Telekom Foundation (Deutsche Telekom Stiftung) in collaboration with the German Mathematicians' Union (Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, DMV) offers a range of workshops and courses for maths teachers in Germany within their project 'Doing maths differently' (Mathematik Anders Machen).

There is a range of courses to choose from, aimed at maths departments (Fachkonferenzen) of different primary- and secondary-school types. In each case a tandem of scientists and teachers is formed, ensuring a close link between theory (university) and practice (school). The goal is to develop long-term co-operations, and ideally, several courses (each lasting 3-8 hours) should be run on one complex topic.

A list of the courses currently on offer is available online. Customised courses can be developed, should your needs not be met by the current offers.

More information and applications:

Contact:, tel. +49 (0)228 1819 2014

All year: Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany
School activities and teacher training

The Deutsches Museum not only hosts a collection of masterpieces of science and technology, but also offers a rich programme for school children of all ages and for their teachers.

  • One- and two-hour guided tours and activities for school classes
  • Activities for children aged 3-8 or 8-14
  • Workshops and activities during the school holidays
  • Lectures for young people, the general public and university students
  • Educational materials and resources (available online)
  • A creative writing lab for school students, in which they can discover the stories behind the inventions and the debates behind the facts, through writing their own fictional texts.

In co-operation with the Technical University of Munich, the museum also hosts the TUMLab, a hands-on science lab which offers:

  • Courses and workshops for students, teachers, and others aged 10 and over
  • The 'junior assistant' programme, which trains school students to become supervisors and guides for other school classes.
  • Live video conferences with research scientists at work in their labs
  • Competitions
  • Teacher training courses.

More information: and
Contact: +49 (0)89 217 91

All year: Bildungsnetzwerk Klima & Energie, Oldenburg, Germany
School activities: energy and climate education

The education network climate & energy (Bildungsnetzwerk Klima & Energie) is run by the city of Oldenburg to foster climate and energy education in schools.

To offer your students first-hand experience and information, why not get in touch with one of the network's two dozen partners from industry, ranging from energy providers and solar power companies to architects of eco-friendly houses. See:

To visit a site related to energy production and climate, including a solar-powered boat, a water mill and a wind-power park, see:

To borrow a wide range of materials - from books and experimental boxes to games and measuring instruments - suitable for both primary and secondary education, see:

More information:

Contact: Christel Sahr (, tel. +49 (0)441 248 376

All year: EWE AG, Oldenburg, Germany
School activities: energy education and teacher training

The energy provider EWE offers a range of activities for local primary, secondary and vocational schools. Free teaching materials, such as comics, magazines, posters and experimental boxes, can be ordered. EWE also offer a number of online games for both primary and secondary students, on energy topics relevant to the curriculum.

EWE representatives give talks on energy-related topics covered in the primary- and secondary-school curricula, including household energy use, practical ways to save energy, and sources of energy.

The 'Energiemobile', a lorry containing mobile workspaces, measuring instruments, multimedia and other materials, can be booked to visit school.

Alternatively, your school might want to join EWE's new project, 'Sonnenklar', aimed at secondary and vocational schools. Solar panels are mounted on the school's roof, and EWE provide teaching materials, computers, its 'energy mobile' truck and teacher training on energy topics.

More information:

All year: Münster, Germany
Programme for girls: 'Light up your life'

The 'Light up your life' programme offers girls in grade 8 and above (aged 14+) an insight into future-oriented jobs and fosters their interests in science, mathematics and technology.

Using light as a topic relevant to many areas of everyday life, such as displays of mobile phones, colours in cosmetics, the workings of traffic lights, LCD-alarm clocks or domestic lighting, workhops demonstrate the versatility of light. The girls can explore the phenomena of light in hands-on experiments, complemented by visits to companies and research institutes working with light, to get an insight into the variety of possible jobs.

The programme is complemented by a web community, and participants get a certificate at the end.

More information:

All year: Environmental Education Centre, Oldenburg, Germany
School activities: environmental education and teacher training

The regional environmental education centre Oldenburg (Umweltbildungszentrum) is one of 28 regional environmental education centres (RUZ) in Lower Saxony.

The centre offers free courses for school classes on the topics of energy (renewable and sustainable energy); healthy food from environmentally friendly agriculture (in co-operation with organic farmers); experiencing nature (exploring the woods and waters, watching migratory birds, excursions to the moor); health education; development (sustainable companies run by schoolchildren, workshops on sustainability).

Further offers include advice for teachers on the topics of environment, energy and development; training courses for teachers and kindergarten employees; a library of environmental education materials and more.

More information:
(Oldenburg) and
(all regional centres in Lower Saxony)
Contact:, tel: +19 (0)441 2483 76/78

All year: venues across Germany
Programme for girls: Taste MINT

The 'Taste MINT' programme offers female students in their last year of secondary school (grades 12 or 13, Abiturientinnen) who are interested in taking up a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, the possibility to assess their strengths in these areas.

Individual and team sessions over three days simulate the requirements for these jobs. The girls subsequently receive personal feedback and advice, including whether a university or technical college (Fachhochschule) might be more appropriate. At the end of the three days, each participant receives a written report on her abilities, which can be used to apply to university.

More information:
Contact: or

All year: venues across the UK
Education activities and resources: Space4Schools

Starchaser Industries offers a wide range of educational activities complementing the English national curriculum, to inspire students at all levels in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. On offer are downloadable educational materials; interactive shows, workshops, real rockets, and presentations at your school; rocket kits and much more.

More information:

All year: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
Student workshops and teacher training

Münster University's didactics workshop (Didaktischen Werkstatt Sachunterricht) offers a number of support activities for primary-school science teachers and their pupils, including workshops and training for teachers, as well as an open lab for teachers who need help preparing a bigger project.

Visiting school classes can do practical work on a number of topics, such as building vehicles, musical instruments, sundials or other measuring instruments, electrical circuits and much more.

Boxes of materials to teach science topics such as magnetism, salt, bridges and gravity can be borrowed by primary-school teachers. These boxes are available throughout Germany.

More information:
(didactic workshop) and
Contact: Torben Wilke (, tel: +49 (0)251 83 384 96 or +49 (0)151 527 382 96

All year: Museum König, Bonn, Germany
Student workshops: Winged Nature

The joint project 'Natur beflügelt' (Winged Nature) by the Alexander-König-Gesellschaft and the Museum König gives school students aged 11-16 who are interested in science the opportunity to discover and explore biodiversity.

Three types of projects are on offer: a weekly science club at the museum every Saturday; a range of holiday workshops and excursions on a number of topics; and the resources to help schools to set up student clubs (Arbeitsgemeinschaft).

More information:

Contact: Johannes Schlarb (, tel: +49 (0)228 1819 2113

All year: Deutsches Museum Bonn, Germany
School activities

The Deutsches Museum Bonn is a subsidiary of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. It offers the following to schools:

  • Topical tours for school groups aged 12 and older
  • Workshops for children aged 4-15
  • An experimental kitchen (ExperimentierKüche) for students from grades 2-13 (aged 8-19) to discover hands-on chemistry using everyday materials
  • The experimental learning station 'Mannometer: Nanometer!' on nanotechnology, for students in grades 9 and 10 (ages 15-17)
  • Experimental boxes on the topic of 'swimming and sinking' for primary-school classes of up to 25 students from grades 2-4 (ages 7-10)
  • A special programme (Laborführerschein ExperimentierKüche) for students of five-year-secondary schools (Hauptschule) in grade 8 (ages 14-15) who are interested in a chemistry-related career. Most of the programmes are run in German, but some programmes are available in English.

More information:

All year: many European countries
Training courses: Roberta: teaching science with robots

The Roberta initiative is a project developed in Germany by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems, and it has now been adapted to other European countries. It addresses the lack of engineers by raising girls' and boys' interest in the technical professions. With the use of standardised robotics kits, Roberta allows a hands-on introduction to technology.

A network of regional centres (currently in Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) provide training and support for interested Roberta course instructors (e.g. teachers, educators, skilled students), as well as lending robot construction kits. In addition, Roberta academies at extracurricular learning locations offer regular taster courses for schools in their region, so that teachers can try out the concept.

More information:

All year: many venues across Germany
Engineering academies for middle school students (JIA)

The German Telecom Foundation has teamed up with schools, universities and regional partners from industry and science to support junior engineering academies (Junior-Ingenieur-Akademien, JIA) across Germany. These regional projects aim to show students from grade 8 onwards (aged 15+) what the work of engineers, scientists and researchers is like, in order to interest them in engineering careers. Activities at school complement visits to companies and science institutes, as well as workshops, excursions, internships and more. See also the SIA project for students from grade 10 onwards (aged 17+).

To specifically foster the enthusiasm of girls in these subjects, the Fraunhofer Society has joined in, offering a continuous programme for students from grade 8 through to the beginning of university studies in engineering.

More information:
(for information on starting your own JIA)

All year: many venues across Germany
Engineering academies for school students (SIA)

The SIA project (Schüler-Ingenieur Akademie), a collaboration between schools, high schools and industry, supports secondary-school students who are interested and talented in science and technology, to help them enter a career in engineering.

Requirements at the different locations vary, but generally, students from grade 10 or 12 onwards (aged 16+ or 18+) are encouraged to take part in extracurricular teaching and lab courses, as well as other related activities, over the course of 1-3 school years.

More information:,, and

If you're interested in starting your own SIA, see:

All year: Education centre for chemistry teachers, Bremen and Oldenburg, Germany
Teacher training

Since May 2002, the education centre for chemistry teachers in Bremen and Oldenburg offers courses and teacher training across the whole of northern Germany, from primary- to secondary-school level.

Courses are taught at the two universities and directly in schools. The costs for the courses vary.

More information:

Contact: Prof. Ilka Parchmann, Prof. Mathias Wickleder, Dr Holger Lüschen
(Uni Oldenburg,, tel: +49 (0)441 798 3601/3694); Prof Franz-Peter Montforts, Prof. Ingo Eilks, Dr Martina Osmers, Dr Stephan Leupold (Uni Bremen,, tel: +49 (0)421 2184 278)

If you organise events or competitions that would be of interest to European science teachers and you would like to see them mentioned in Science in School, please email details - including date, location, title, abstract, price, language, registration deadline, website, contact email address, and any restrictions on who can attend - to


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