Secondary schools: EO basics

ESA undertakes educational projects aimed at bringing Earth Observation into the school curriculum

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Educational posters on remote sensing principles and applications for beginners

Entry point for secondary school students and teachers, with theory and ready-made projects

A large archive of many EO products in one place

An educational open source software for inspecting and analyzing satellite images

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Released on: 28/01/2019


ESA provides and contributes to training courses, workshops and other events where teachers are given instruction in the use of tools that will enable them to incorporate Earth Observation into the curricula of their subject. ESA also organises outreach events where students and teachers are made aware of ESA’s activities in Earth Observation.

For more information on teacher training and outreach events for exercises and presentations, look at EGU GIFT Workshops.



Since 2012 ESA has been organizing School Labs within the framework of the Living Planet Symposium.

The Living Planet Symposium (LPS) is a periodic conference presenting the progress and plans for the implementation of ESA Earth Observation strategy. It provides an international forum to scientists and investigators to share state of the art results based on data from ESA’s Earth Explorers and Third-Party Missions, reviews the development of applications and introduces operational services.

In this context, the objective of the School Labs is to give live demonstration of those skills that students – generally between 13 and 18 years old – have been taught through schools courses in Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology and General Science, in particular highlighting the many applications and importance of Earth Observation. Last but not least, School Labs are also providing guidance on careers in the space sector.



Climate Detectives is an ESA school project for students between 8 and 15 years old.  Students are challenged to ‘make a difference’ in understanding and protecting Earth’s climate. They will identify a climate problem by observing their local environment and be tasked to investigate it as ‘Climate Detectives’. To this end, they will work with real Earth observation data or take measurements on the ground. Based on their investigation, teams will propose a way to help reduce the problem.

This curricular school project aims at promoting the teaching and learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competences and skills, including scientific methodology, data collection, visualisation and analysis as well as improving the younger generation’s awareness and knowledge of Earth’s climate. At key phases of the project, scientists in the field of Earth observation and climate will support the teams.

A set of curricular classroom resources has been developed to encourage student’s participation and motivation and to improve their understanding of Earth’s climate.

The Climate Detectives project is managed by the ESA Education Office with help from the ESA Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.



The Education department of ESA develops educational material and undertakes many activities in space education for children. Some of this is relevant also to Earth Observation. For more information, visit the ESA Education and ESERO websites.