European Space Education Resource Office opens at Andøya
The European Space Agency (ESA) has established its first office in Norway. The Norwegian European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) was officially opened on April 22 by the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communication, Liv Signe Navarsete. A delegation from ESA and Norwegian Space Center attended the opening ceremony at Andøya Rocket Range (ARR) where the ESERO office is located.
In 2008 ESA invited Norway to establish the first ESA office in Norway. ESERO is meant to support the education community with information, materials and activities geared towards science, engineering and space exploration.
“We were surprised to be invited so early in the development of ESERO,” said Arne-Hjalmar Hansen, manager of NAROM (Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education). NAROM has been given the task of establishing the office and running it for three years. Space has been given an important role in Norwegian education, Hansen explains. The Norwegian ESERO office will start working with high school teachers, and hopefully expand to include elementary school.
In her opening speech Navarsete said that space activities are playing an increasingly important role for business and economic development in the High North.
“By space activities I mean everything from scientific education and research to high-technology enterprises that make products and provide services. Our High North strategy affirms our intention to contribute to developing the space industry in the north and space-related service provision in Tromsø, Andøya and Svalbard. To this end we will play our part in developing space-related infrastructure,” the minister said.
“We are very excited and proud to be able to open the first ESA office in Norway,” said Antonsen at the ceremony.
The opening of ESERA in Norway is part of ESA’s efforts to awaken the interest for science and mathematics among European young people and teachers, through resources, educational material and courses. The long-term goal of the ESERO office is to increase interest for science and technology, and inspire the next generation to pursue such careers.