National Space Awareness Workshop in Bulgaria
21 April 2017

On 21 April the Bulgarian city of Pleven hosted the National Space Awareness Workshop for teachers. The topic of the workshop was “Our wonderful Universe” and was held in connection with the Earth Day on 22 April. The aim of the event was to investigate the application of space science and research and how to incorporate this into their respective fields and lessons. In this way, 40 STEM teachers from whole Bulgaria gained knowledge about the study of the cosmos and wonders of our Universe. By demonstrating and practicing the educational resources developed within the EU Space Awareness project, participants have deepened their skills at Inquiry-Based Science Education.

The event attracted interest from a wide audience including Mr. Georgi Yonchev, Deputy Mayor of Dolna Mitropoliya Municipality, Senior Science Expert Katya Trifonova, as well as representatives of partner organizations, who attended the opening ceremony.

Ivo Jokin presented the objectives and tasks of the EU Space Awareness. Participants had a chance to discover "The Black Holes Riddle" in the presentation given by Dr. Vladimir Bozhilov from the Department of Astronomy at the Sofia University.

During the practical part, teachers tested project resources:”Model of a black hole” for teachers of physics and astronomy, “Meet Our Neighbours-Sun”, “Meet Our Neighbours-Moon” for teachers from special schools (for pupils with visual impairments), “Day and Night in the world” for biology teachers, “Transforming water into acid…and back” for chemistry teachers. The workshop material was prepared by children with special educational needs from the Astro Club at the Municipal Center for extracurricular activities, of which we are very grateful! The translations of resources were provided in Bulgarian and are available in Bulgarian version of the website here

During one of the sessions, Scientix Ambassador for Bulgaria, Tsetsa Tsolova, introduced teachers to the largest project for Science Education, coordinated by the European Schoolnet and funded from the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme. She provided an overview of the project’s resources and opportunities for participation.

At the end of the workshop, all participants received a certificate of participation, educational and promotional material related to the subjects of the workshop and to the project as well as the book of Dr. Vladimir Bozhilov "Life and the Universe" with a special dedication for each teacher. Participants were also invited to visit an exhibition by astrophotographer Nikolay Dimitrov.

Organisers of the Workshop:

Municipality of Dolna Mitropolia / Municipal Center for extracurricular activities, 
Regional Education Management Pleven / Ministry of Science and Education and The Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Physics, Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”

Danube River Basin Directorate Pleven, Regional Inspectorate for Environmental Protection and Water Pleven and direction "Nature" of the Regional Historical Museum Pleven

The overview of the workshop’s activities was kindly provided by Ivo Jokin, EU Space Awareness node in Bulgaria