European Commission Silver Medal

The project « Hands-On Universe, Europe – Bringing frontline interactive astronomy to the classroom » has been honoured with the silver award of the European Commission at the occasion of the conference « Innovation and Creativity in the Lifelong Learning Programme: Create, Innovate and Cooperate » held in Prague, 6-7 May 2009, in the framework of the Czech Presidency of the European Union.

In the category « Information and Communication Technologies », this award has been handed out to Roger Ferlet (IAP) by Ondrej Liska, Czech Minister of Education, Youth and Sports and Ján Figel, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Training and Youth.
The aim was to award outstanding European projects which will serve as motivating examples of the best innovative practices to accomplish the goals set by European leaders in Lisbon to become "the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010 in the field of Education and Training.
The EUHOU silver award

EU-HOU aims to re-awaken interest in science among young people by demonstrating the excitement of astronomy via new technologies.

Teaching science through astronomy and ICT! Hands-on tools for studying universe to awaken interest in maths and science! The project managed to make formulas and computations attractive to young pupils. Thanks to this project, and to the collaboration between teachers and researchers that made it possible, pupils now have the possibility to experience the thrill of discovery by using webcam systems, radio telescopes and a world-wide network of optical telescopes available through the Internet.

Roger Ferlet with the European Commissioner for Education (left) and the Czech Minister of Education (right)
More information about all the awarded projects here.
This project have been supported by the MINERVA grant 113969-CP-1-2004-1-FR-MINERVA-M.



Galileo Teacher Training Program gets IYA2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize

The International Year of Astronomy 2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach has been awarded today. The Galileoscope and Galileo Teacher Training Program shared the second runners-up prize, for their outstanding contributions to all aspects of education during IYA2009. The Galileo Teacher Training Program helped more than 5000 educators in more than 40 countries improve their methods of teaching astronomy and bringing it to the classroom. EU-HOU is part of the GTTP program.

The 1st Prize has been awarded to From Earth to the Universe (FETTU). This award recognises FETTU’s important contribution in improving public awareness of astronomical achievements, and in stimulating the use of astronomy for the promotion of scientific education and culture in 2009.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) featured tens of thousands of events worldwide. These were organised and implemented by many professionals, amateurs and volunteers who built IYA2009 into the most successful science education and public outreach project ever undertaken. While it is impossible to acknowledge all the activities that have taken place in 2009 and all those who have made them possible, an IYA2009 Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach has been established to reward some of the most ambitious. Thirty submissions were accepted from 21 countries and nine transnational organisations. After a very careful evaluation of all submissions, and much difficult deliberation, From Earth to the Universe was selected as the winner.

We are really pleased to award the prize to From Earth to the Universe, a project which has really captured the spirit of the contest and of IYA2009 as a whole.” says Dr. Mani Bhaumik, the IYA2009 Patron.

Three additional projects from the very high quality field were selected as runners-up in the contest. The first is Around the World in 80 Telescopes, a 24-hour live webcast presenting observatories and astronomical research around the world, part of the global project, 100 Hours of Astronomy. The webcast featured eighty professional telescopes in seven continents and reached well over 110 000 viewers in 24 hours and many more are still watching online every day from all around the world.

The Galileoscope shared the second runners-up prize: this project created a low-cost telescope kit that enabled children and adults worldwide to relive Galileo’s sense of discovery. More than 180 000 of these have been produced and distributed to individuals, astronomy clubs, planetariums, science centres, museums, schools and other groups.


It was very difficult to select the winners as so many initiatives deserve acclaim for what they’ve done. All of the projects help contribute to the legacy of IYA2009 and its important mission of astronomy education and public outreach.” says Ian Corbett, IAU General Secretary and member of the prize jury. “Those on our final list showed ambition and scope far above and beyond conventional science communication ventures, and this was an important factor in our decision.

The winner receives 3500 Euros, the first runner-up receives 1500 Euros, and the two second runners-ups will each receive 750 Euros. The awards and certificates will be delivered in March during the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2010 Conference, in Cape Town, South Africa. Kimberly Kowal Arcand, FETTU co-chair, will give a keynote talk at the conference.

You can read the full IYA2009 press release on the IYA2009 or IAU sites.