Press Release

Setting the Stage for Science in Schools

EIROforum presents the very best of European science teaching

10 November 2005

How can you weigh the Earth with a straw, a paperclip and a piece of thread? Why don't we really know what we see? How can a juggling act explain mathematics? These are but a few of the on-stage activities that will be shown at the EIROforum [1] Science on Stage Festival, to be held from 21 to 25 November at CERN in Geneva (Switzerland). With support from the European Commission, this international festival brings together around 500 science educators from 29 European countries to show how fascinating and entertaining science can be.

"Science is fun! This is what this week-long event will show by presenting innovative methods of teaching science and demonstrations", says Helen Wilson from the European Space Agency and co-ordinator of the event.

"At the festival, teachers have the chance to view things from a new perspective, to be entertained and enchanted by science", says Rolf Landua, Head of Education at CERN and Chairman of the event. "As well as taking to the stage, they set up stalls in fair-like surroundings to share their most successful teaching tricks."

Workshops on themes as varied as "flying on stage", "the theatre of science", or "stem cell research" and "gamma-ray bursts", will give the attendees - teachers and other science educators - the chance to discuss and come up with solutions to the problem of growing disinterest for science in Europe.

"A key element of the Science on Stage concept is to give teachers an up-to-date 'insider's view' of what is happening in big science, to tell them about new, highly diverse and interesting career opportunities for their pupils, and to create a European atmosphere where bright young people can meet and interact", says Colin Carlile, Director General of the Institut Laue-Langevin and current chairman of the EIROforum.

At the end of the festival, the European Science Teaching Awards will be presented. The names of the winners will be made public on the Science on Stage web site at 12:00 CET on Friday 25 November. In addition, highlights of the Festival will feature in a new "Science in School" journal, to be launched by EIROforum in 2006. The new journal is dedicated to best teaching materials and practices in Europe.

The festival is the final event of a two-year-long programme of events that has taken place in virtually every European country and from which delegates have been selected for their outstanding projects promoting science.

The event continues the vastly successful "Physics on Stage" festivals organised by EIROforum organisations in 2000, 2002 and 2003.

Journalists are cordially invited to take part in this unique European event. The detailed programme and practical details are available on the Science on Stage web site at


[1]: EIROforum is a collaboration between seven European intergovernmental scientific research organizations. As world leaders within their respective fields, the EIROforum member organizations constitute the vanguard of European science, enabling European scientists to engage in truly cutting-edge research and be competitive on a global scale. These organizations have a vital role to play in the future of European research. EIROforum is composed of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN; the European Fusion Development Agreement, EFDA, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL, the European Space Agency, ESA, the European Southern Observatory, ESO, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF, and the Institut Laue-Langevin, ILL. For more information about EIROforum, visit

The EIROforum Science on Stage Festival is supported in part by the European Commission's Science and Society Programme in the framework of the NUCLEUS project.


Helen Wilson
ESTEC/European Space Agency
Noordwijk, Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 565 5518

Rolf Landua
Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: + 41 22 767 2051

Renilde Vanden Broeck
Renilde Vanden Broeck
Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 767 2141

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About the Release

Release No.:eso0537
Legacy ID:PR 28/05
Type:Unspecified : People