Granada, an incubator for young scientists and astronauts trained in Spain
The Andalusia-Granada Science Park was chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) to host the Spanish office of the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO). ESERO is ESA’s project to encourage youngsters to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering or maths (also known as STEM).
ESERO is ESA’s main project to support the primary and secondary education community in Europe. Against the background of each country’s education system, it offers space-related learning activities to make STEM subjects more attractive and accessible to students, as well as an annual series of national or regional training sessions for teachers.
Space can be an inspiring subject for innovative and multidisciplinary activities, and for the sharing of concepts, contents and methods across the European education network. The opening of ESERO office in Granada was attended by Pedro Duque, the Spanish astronaut is responsible for the control and review of future ESA projects.
Andalusia is an aerospace hub in Spain. According to data published by Hélice, the Andalusian aerospace cluster, it is the second most important region in the country in terms of income, billing 2400 million euro.
Granada is the birthplace of Emilio Herrera, a pioneer of aerospace research back in the 1920s and the designer of the forerunner of the space suit worn by astronauts today. The choice of this city as an incubator for future scientists and inventors trained in Spain is also a way of paying homage to this man.
Spain is the 14th European country to host national offices of ESA’s educational project. The Granada-based centre will rely on other institutions in Spain, such as the Aragón Astronomical Centre or the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, for support.
ESERO Spain (financed after a 50/50 partnership agreement by ESA and Spanish organisations) will carry out a national survey on educational priorities and needs in STEM-related subjects, and the subsequent design of a training and learning programme.
In the past school year, ESERO offered training to more than 10,000 teachers and 300,000 students across Europe.