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It’s wonderful to see teachers leaving our training events with more confidence to tackle astronomy in the classroom.

Westra van Holthe, EU-UNAWE in the Netherlands

Universe Awareness International Workshop 2015

5 - 9 October 2015 (Celebrating the World Space Week)
Leiden Observatory, Leiden, the Netherlands


The Universe Awareness International Workshop 2015 will provide a space for educators, teachers, astronomers and members of the UNAWE network to share ideas, techniques and resources that have been developed and implemented by the programme and its partners. The workshop is organised in close collaboration with the European Space Agency.

One goal of the workshop is to further consolidate existing UNAWE astronomy education and communication resources for very young children. Participants will also discuss the role of astronomy and space science in early childhood development, pedagogical content knowledge in space education and educational curriculum development. Finally, the workshop will also address the evaluation of the long-term effectiveness of exposing very young children to inspirational and motivational astronomy activities.

Main Scientific Topics

  • Early Childhood Development

  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Space Education

  • Educational Curricula

  • Evaluation and Assessment


Pre-workshop events happening in Leiden

Monday, 5 October

Old Observatory

  • 9:00 - 9:30: Welcome coffee & Registration

  • 9:30 - 10:30: Opening remarks by George Miley and Pedro Russo  

  • 10:30 - 11:30: Short presentations from the field:

    • Universe in the Classroom by Edward Gomez

    • Creative Teaching with Astronomically Inspired Music - Matthew Whitehouse

    • Constellations and Solar System by Paweł Ziemnicki

    • UNAWE in Australia by Robert Hollow

    • Astronomy for young students in Iran by Soheila Nadali Pour

    • Astronomy as a teaching tool for Physics and Sciences classes in Padua/Brazil by Tiberio Borges Vale

    • Lessons from Astro-Science Education Outreach Project in Tanzania by UNAWE-Tanzania

    • Eratosthenes UNAWE - Andean Countries by Enrique Torres

  • 11:30 - 12:30: Visit to Leiden Observatory

  • 12:30 - 14:00: Lunch (Going Dutch:

  • 13:30 - 15:00: Tour

Tuesday, 6 October

Collegeroom 3, Gorlaeus Building

  • 9:00 - 9:20: Raise up an astronaut by Barbara ten Berge
  • 9:20 - 10:10: Short presentations from the field:

    • Integrated Science: Scientific Skills for Primary School in Chile by Luis Barrera Salas

    • UNAWE Resources as tools for engaging Earth science to calamity-hit Filipino children by Stephanie Tumampos

    • Cosmic Light EDU Kit by Rosa Doran

    • World Space Week and Education in Space by Lauren Napier

    • Universe Awareness of Sri Lanka – A Volunteer Effort; what have we learned? by Thilina Heenatigala

    • Engaging kids with music - the Italian astrokids case study by Stefano Sandrelli

    • Astronomy Campaign in Morocco "Let’s Discover the Solar System"  by Darhmaoui Hassane

    • Think Physics by Joe Shimwell

    • Open Science Centre by Kyra Romero

  • 10:00 - 10:30: Coffee break

  • 10:30 - 12:30: Workshops I

    • Go-Lab: Promoting the "Big Ideas of Science"  through a federation of online labs by Tsourlidaki Eleftheria (Room: Collegeroom 3, Gorlaeus Building)

    • Making Astronomy Accessible for All by Amelia Ortiz, Lina Canas and Thilina Heenatigala (Room:HL 421)

    • Parallel Earth by Rosa Ros  (Room: STRW Library)

  • 14:00 -17:30: Workshops II

    • Sharing Space: Training Practitioners to Deliver Engaging Content by Mia Blundell & Bryan Paul Hatton

    • IAU astroEDU by Edward Gomez and Thilina Heenatigala

    • Teaching Enquiry with Mysteries Incorporated by TEMI NL team  

Wednesday, 7 October

Collegeroom 3, Gorlaeus Building

  • 9:00 - 10:00 Keynote on Space Awareness (UCL & UCL)

  • 10:00 - 10:30: Coffee break

  • 10:30 - 12:30: Workshops III

    • Space Awareness by UCL team (Room: Collegeroom 3, Gorlaeus Building)

    • Inspiring Science Education by Rosa Doran (Room: STRW Library)

    • Astronomy Concepts Project by Cecilia Scorza, H Lee and Pedro Russo (Room:HL 421)

  • 12:30 - 14:00: Lunch (Going Dutch:

  • 14:00 - 16:00: Educational Resource Fair with Children (Fair showcasing a selection educational resources. The best resource, as voted by participants, will win a prize). Children will also visit the fair.

Thursday, 8 October (Day at European Space Agency)

  • 7:45: Bus to ESTEC (meeting point: Leiden CS bus platform, close to the Aldi supermarket)

  • 8:30: Registration at ESTEC Gate.

  • 9:00: Welcome by Science and Robotic Exploration (SRE)

  • 9:05 - 10:00: Talk on Rosetta by Matt Taylor  

  • 10:00 - 11:00: Talk + Q&A about ESA Education

  • 11:00 - 12:30: Rosetta Workshop by ESERO NL

  • 12:30 - 13:30: Lunch

  • 13:30 - 14:00: ESA Shop visit

  • 14:00 - 17:00: Tour of ESTEC

  • 17:00: Return to Leiden

  • 18:30: Workshop dinner (Oude Leyden) offered by ESA & UNAWE (1 pancake + 1 drink)

Friday, 9 October

Room HL 226/228, Huygens Laboratory

  • 9:00 - 10:00: Keynote on Universe in a Box by Cecilia Scorza

  • 10:00 - 10:30: Coffee break

  • 10:30 - 12:00: Presentations from the different workshops

  • 12:00 - 12:30: Closing Session

  • 12:30 - 13:30: Lunch (Going Dutch:


Workshops Topics


Travel Logistics


If you need an official invitation in order to obtain a VISA, please contact Audrey Korczynska at

How to reach Leiden and the Leiden Observatory

Note: this is NOT the old Observatory ("Sterrewacht") located in the center of town

Leiden Observatory is located on the fourth and fifth floor of the Oort and Huygens buildings, which are connected by a glass corridor. The Oort building also houses the Lorentz Center for hosting international workshops on the third floor. For directions to Leiden Observatory follow the directions to the Lorentz Center which can be found here. Maps of Leiden city and the location of the university buildings can be found here.


Some suggestions

Close to the observatory (but 30 min walk to the city centre): Hotel Garden Inn Hilton:

If you are looking for a Hotel in the historical/city centre we recommend


The participation in the workshop is free on a first-come first served basis. Registration is now closed.  

Organising Committee

  • George Miley  (Leiden University, the Netherlands, Co-Chair)

  • Pedro Russo (Leiden University, the Netherlands, Co-Chair)

  • Tibisay Sankatsing Nava (Leiden University, the Netherlands)

  • Iris Nijman (Leiden University, the Netherlands)

  • Maria Cruz (ESA)

  • Audrey Korczynska (Leiden University, the Netherlands)

  • Hans Tuinenburg (NEMO, ESERO NL)

  • Jarle Brinchmann (Leiden University, the Netherlands)

  • Hyunju Lee (Leiden University, the Netherlands)

  • Abi Ashton (Leiden University, the Netherlands)