icono News

The CESAR educational programme returns to Spain's classrooms

The CESAR educational programme returns to Spain's classrooms

ESA, INTA and ISDEFE sign a partnership agreement on education.

The CESAR (Cooperation through Education in Science and Astronomy Research) programme is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency, through its European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), located in Madrid, the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) and the company Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España (ISDEFE).

The three institutions have established a partnership agreement that was signed and published in the Official State Gazette on 9 July. A commemorative event to observe the signing of the agreement was held today, 16 September at the ESAC facilities, and was attended by the CEO of ISDEFE, Mr Francisco Quereda, Lieutenant General Julio Ayuso Miguel of INTA, and the Science Director of ESA, Mr Guenther Hassinger. Also present were the communication managers of these institutions and the project coordinator.

The CESAR programme aims to give access to educational resources and materials on astronomy, as well as to the data obtained by ESA space missions, to the entire Spanish educational community. Through various scientific case studies, to be carried out both in person and online, tools and resources are made available to teachers so they can offer motivational activities and experiments to their students using real data.

The CESAR initiative also has a series of Space Science Experiences (SSE), which combine visits to ESAC, the ESA centre in Madrid, and on-site workshops so that students can have fun while  learning about the lives of stars, planet formation, space mission launches or the search for life in the Universe.

Thanks to the work undertaken over more than a decade through previous agreements between the three institutions, the programme has broadened its scope and now works not only nationally but also internationally, organising training for teachers from around the world on topics related to space sciences. The training in Spain is organised in coordination with the Ministry of Education of the various regional governments, such as Madrid, Valencia, Andalusia and the Canary Islands. In 2021 and 2022, a total of 369 Spanish teachers have taken part in the training offered by CESAR. In 2021, about 1000 students participated in the Space Experiences.

Registration for these Experiences for this new school year will be open very soon so that schools throughout Spain can join our activities and visit the ESAC facilities. It will be available at this link.

Also, from 17 to 21 October, an international course will be provided in collaboration with the Galileo Teacher Training Programme (GTTP) in a hybrid face-to-face and online format. The course will allow teachers and science staff to interact, encouraging them to exchange teaching ideas and resources Registration is open until 7 October at http://galileoteachers.org/esa-gttp-2022/

ESA, INTA and ISDEFE contribute not only personnel, but facilities and resources to the CESAR initiative, thus consolidating a strong partnership in education. The European Space Agency is responsible for project coordination, technical support, financial management, grants for student interns, as well as for the facilities where the activities are carried out


ISDEFE provides highly trained personnel specialising in science education in astrophysics and space sciences, as well as in the design of resources and teaching materials for teachers to use in the classroom. ISDEFE also provides a professional optical telescope at the Cebreros Tracking Station that is currently in the adjustment phase.

INTA contributes, on the one hand, expert research personnel in different areas of astrophysics and astrobiology, who participate in the training and courses offered by CESAR. And on the other, it guarantees observation time and personnel trained in the operation of radio antennas VIL 1 and VIL 2, who work on radio astronomy with the schools assigned to the project.

The main goal of the project is to promote quality, sustainable and inclusive science education and outreach. Thus, in addition to working with the national and international educational community, it is also expanding its activity to reach other particularly vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, the elderly and refugees. To this end, it partners with renowned national and international entities such as the Spanish Astronomical Society, and the Office of Astronomy for Development of the International Astronomical Union.

CESAR uses its website, Twitter account and YouTube channel to communicate its activities to the educational community and the general public. The team regularly participate in scientific and educational conferences in order to apply their results and innovative methodologies.