An initiative of using remote sensing in science education curricula at high schools has been launched by the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL). The project, entitled Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools (SEOS) and submitted to the European Commission in the 6th Framework Programme, is intended to start in the very near future. It combines the efforts of 11 partners, all members of EARSeL and representing re-search and cultural organisations, universities and information management corporations. Based on their research results, internet-based tutorials will be realised on selected topics in earth obser-vation. This will also assist the students in understanding how earth observation form space is beneficial to society by improving knowledge of our planet.
The tutorials cover themes, which are relevant to lessons in geography, biology, physics, engi-neering and mathematics. A particular focus is on the context of these subjects, in agreement with the interdisciplinary aspects of earth observation, which stimulates knowledge in other science disciplines and solves problems in team work. Students will connect local personal observations to global perspectives, and will thus gain an understanding for the techniques needed to receive and interpret these data. Its results are thus suitable to achieve scientific literacy, which belongs to the key scientific education standards. Besides an overview module on Earth observation from space entitled A World of Images, the tutorials will cover the following topics: Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritages, Coral reefs, Remote sensing and geo-information in agriculture, Land-cover/landuse change and land consumption, Understanding spectra from the earth, Ocean colour in the coastal zone, Currents in the oceans measured from space, Remote sensing using lasers, 3D models based upon stereoscopic satellite data, Natural resources management, Marine pollu-tion, Classification algorithms and methods, Modelling of environmental processes, and Time se-ries analysis.
The European Space Agency ESA and several national remote sensing organisa-tions will make their data archives available to the project.
The tutorials will be realised at first in the English language. At a later stage they will be translated into other European languages, by means of modern technical language translation tools but with added human control, to make them useable in Europe and beyond. UNESCO will use the pro-duced material for educational purpose in selected developing countries, hence extending the benefits of this project to an even larger audience.
Making earth observation with remote sensing an element of science education provides a basis for using environmental monitoring in the work-life subsequently. The tutorials realised in SEOS span also the elements of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) pro-gramme, and are particularly suitable for the users of GMES services and information products at governmental organisations and in the private sector.
The project team would highly welcome contributions from EARSC members to the e-learning tu-torials and is looking forward to profiting from their valuable data and information on Earth obser-vation.
Dr. Rainer Reuter
University of Oldenburg
Tel. ++49 (0)441 798 3522