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 Europlanet Outreach Newsletter #13 - August 2017 

Welcome to the August 2017 edition of the Europlanet outreach newsletter. This month, we are delighted to announce new Europlanet collections of planetary-related educational resources on the astroEDU platform. Our new video on Astrobiology is coming soon! We are looking forward to outreach and teacher training sessions the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Riga from 17-22 September. Please come along to our evaluation breakfast session on Thursday 21st September to discuss development of Europlanet's new evaluation toolkit for outreach activities. We are also looking for volunteers to help Europlanet develop policy on diversity in the European planetary science community. To celebrate the end of the amazing Cassini mission, our September Webinar will be with Dr Sheila Kanani on "Cassini-Huygens and The Lord of the Rings". News from partners includes a new space-themed theatre show: "Astronaut Battery" from Tacky Pioneer, and an online course on "Our Fragile Planet" from Space Awareness.   

If you would like to share your news, resources, events, or any other outreach-related information with the group in the next newsletter, please email us!

Updates from Europlanet Outreach

New collections of educational resources: 

Europlanet and IAU astroEDU (Leiden University) have identified, edited and developed 6 education collections around Europlanet topics. These collections include a total of 32 educational activities for primary and secondary school education, and consist of 3 new collections (Planets and their moons, Children's Planetary Maps and Asteroids, Comets and Meteors) and 3 expanded collections on existing relevant topics (Our Moon, Exploring Earth and The Sun).

IAU astroEDU is the platform for peer-reviewed astronomy educational activities. The astroEDU peer-review method is similar to publishing a scientific paper and allows the authors to improve the resource according to the comments received from the reviewers (consisting of one educator and one scientist). We will highlight what's in each of the Europlanet collections of activities in future newsletters.

Astrobiology - a new video from Europlanet

Europlanet's new video, Astrobiology, is out soon! Teasers are available on social media now!

Outreach Sessions and Teacher Training at EPSC 2017

We hope that you will be joining us at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2017 in Riga, Latvia, from 17th-22nd September. 

The Galileo Teacher Training Programme will be running a 3-hour training workshop for teachers on Thursday 21st September. The workshop will include an introduction to inquiry based learning, visual thinking skills and collaborative instructional design. 

The programme for EPSC 2017 also includes four outreach sessions on Thursday 21st September: Education, capacity building and training with Planetary ResearchPolicy & sociocultural aspects of planetary explorationPlanetary science and exploration outreach through Arts and International lunar decade - towards a self-sustaining space economy. In addition, there will be a hands-on exhibition for schools.

We look forward to meeting you and having some interesting discussions!
Outreach Evaluation - Breakfast Session at EPSC

Evaluating outreach activities is essential to help you identify your sucesses, learn what could be improved, and celebrate the impacts of your work. In the coming months Europlanet will be developing a dedicated evaluation tool kit to empower outreach providers and educators in measuring and appraising the impact of their activities.

Join us for a breakfast discussion at 8am on Thursday, 21st September at the European Planetary Science Congress (D'Vine Lounge, Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, Riga, Latvia) to help shape what should (and shouldn’t!) go into that toolkit, and to identify existing areas of good evaluation practice within the Europlanet network that can be showcased within the toolkit. Please contact to register your interest in attending, or for a separate follow-up discussion if you can’t make that session or EPSC.

Diversity in the planetary science community

Europlanet is committed to tackling diversity issues in the European Planetary Science Community. The following statement is proposed for inclusion in the updated version of the Europlanet Consortium Memorandum of Understanding, and will be presented for approval at the Europlanet General Assembly during EPSC 2017 on Thursday, 21 September 2017:

"The Europlanet Consortium is committed to building a diverse, inclusive planetary science community in Europe and to ensuring that individuals within that community experience equal opportunity, regardless of gender, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status, age, nationality or socioeconomic background."

Going forward, Europlanet plans develop a full policy on Diversity. To kick off this process, there will be a breakfast at EPSC from 8:00-9:00 am on Tuesday, 19 September in the D'Vine Lounge at the Radisson Blu Latvija. Please come along for an informal discussion on diversity issues facing the planetary science community and how Europlanet can support people of all backgrounds to pursue careers in planetary science.

For more information, or if you would like to get involved (even if you can't attend EPSC), please contact

(Image credit: Europlanet RPIF 3D Training Workshop. (C) Earth & Solar System Blog)

September Webinar - Cassini Huygens and the Lord of the Rings, Dr Sheila Kanani

The flagship robotic orbiter, Cassini, and lander, Huygens, have provided us with a wealth of information about Saturn, its moons and its rings. By the time it 'crashes' into Saturn in September 2017, Cassini will have been in space for almost 20 years.

For the September Europlanet webinar, join Dr Sheila Kanani, the Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer for the Royal Astronomical Society and former Cassini researcher, in celebrating the incredible spacecraft's amazing mission and some of the breathtaking discoveries it has made, including a hexagonal storm that rages at Saturn's north pole and an icy moon that could harbour life.

Join the webinar on 13 September 2017 at 16:00 CEST (14:00 UTC) at:

Updates from Partners
An online course about “Our Fragile Planet” is now open for registrations!

“Our Fragile Planet” is the fourth and final Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) created as part of the Space Awareness project, funded by Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union. The course aims at developing teaching skills to use space sciences in education, by providing teachers from all levels of education with the means to teach space and astronomy related subjects. Participants will enhance their basic knowledge about the Earth, learn how to introduce fun educational activities about weather, climate and Earth properties in classrooms, raise awareness about different space missions and space careers, and strengthen social responsibility in relation to climate change.

The course starts on 2 October 2017, and the registration is open on the EUN Academy platform here:

To read more about the Space Awareness project and available MOOCs, visit

New Theatre Show - Astronaut Battery

Our Universe AR App

New theatre company Tacky Pioneer debuts their brand new space-themed show at the Chelsea Theatre in London from September 14-16. 

Four theatre makers sit around a kitchen table with the humble dream of getting Richard Branson to pay for them to take a rocket ship to space. Burdened by student loans, political mayhem, and the imminent destruction of planet Earth, these self-appointed astronauts train for the improbable: their chance at a literal journey to outer space. An inbox full of unanswered emails to NASA later, they are on a mission: to test the limits of the epic, the virtuosic, the chaotic, and themselves. If they fail, they fail gloriously.

Chelsea Theatre
London SW10 0DR

Any questions about the show can be directed to We hope to see you there!

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