es2201 — Organisation Release

ESO and Forscherstation launch cooperation project in the field of education

ESO Supernova and Forscherstation join forces to foster early science education

16 March 2022

The stars and the cosmos are fascinating to all people - from early childhood onwards. Turning this curiosity into long-lasting interest in science is the goal of this very special cooperation: On 1 February 2022, the cooperation between the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Garching and the Forscherstation, Klaus-Tschira Centre of Excellence for Early Science Education based in Heidelberg, was officially launched. The aim is to offer training in early science education for educational specialists and teachers from preschool, kindergarten and primary schools at ESO Supernova in Garching. This will strengthen and expand the already existing ESO Supernova education programme. The Forscherstation, which has so far been active primarily in the Rhine-Neckar and the Rhine-Main area, thus also wants to promote early science education among educational specialists and teachers in the Munich area.  

Already now, an astronomy training course for educators is being conducted by the Forscherstation at ESO Supernova. Further sessions on various scientific topics are already being planned. The two cooperation partners will also set up a library for educational resources for preschool, kindergarten and primary schools at ESO Supernova. From autumn 2022, educational institutions will be able to borrow educational kits and other materials for implementing learning environments for early science education free of charge and will be able to receive expert advice.

The cooperation is receiving financial support from the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS). The KTS provides a full-time position for an educational specialist who offers training in early science education for educators and teachers from preschool, kindergarten and primary schools at ESO Supernova. They are also responsible for supporting the specialists in the field of early childhood education in the ESO member states and for conducting workshops, guided tours and planetarium shows for children aged three to twelve at ESO Supernova. These educational offers are to be further expanded in the coming years.

"We are pleased to be able to extend our activities to the Garching and Munich area. With ESO Supernova, we have found a competent partner who will support us in our ambition to promote and strengthen early science education." says Petra Gürsching, Managing Director of the Forscherstation.

"ESO Supernova is looking forward to a fruitful collaboration in the field of early science education for the benefit of the next generations, so that they can discover the Universe around them on their own." said Wolfgang Vieser, ESO Education Coordinator.

More information

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is a cutting-edge astronomy centre for the public and an educational facility, located at the site of the ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München. The centre hosts a digital planetarium with a tilted, 360-degree dome, 14 metres in diameter, and an interactive exhibition, sharing the fascinating world of astronomy and ESO to inspire coming generations to appreciate and understand the Universe around us. All content is provided in English and German. Entrance to the exhibition is free. For planetarium shows, guided tours and other activities, visitors need to book and pay for their tickets online. For more details visit: 

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is a cooperation between the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). The building is a donation from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), a German foundation, and ESO runs the facility.

ESO Supernova is proudly supported by: LOR Foundation, Evans & Sutherland and Sky-Skan.


The European Southern Observatory (ESO) enables scientists worldwide to discover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of all. We design, build and operate world-class observatories on the ground — which astronomers use to tackle exciting questions and spread the fascination of astronomy — and promote international collaboration in astronomy. Established as an intergovernmental organisation in 1962, today ESO is supported by 16 Member States (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO’s headquarters and its visitor centre and planetarium, the ESO Supernova, are located close to Munich in Germany, while the Chilean Atacama Desert, a marvellous place with unique conditions to observe the sky, hosts our telescopes. ESO operates three observing sites: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its Very Large Telescope Interferometer, as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. Also at Paranal ESO will host and operate the Cherenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory. Together with international partners, ESO operates APEX and ALMA on Chajnantor, two facilities that observe the skies in the millimetre and submillimetre range. At Cerro Armazones, near Paranal, we are building “the world’s biggest eye on the sky” — ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope. From our offices in Santiago, Chile we support our operations in the country and engage with Chilean partners and society.


The Forscherstation at the Klaus Tschira Competence Center for Early Science Education gGmbH, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and is an institute affiliated with Heidelberg University of Education. Its aim is to spark an interest in science among nursery, kindergarten and primary school teachers so that they can discover the world together with children. In line with this approach, the Forscherstation focuses on continuous training courses, providing appropriate experiment ideas, practical research and the qualification of young scientists. You can find more information as well as the current program at

Klaus Tschira Foundation

The Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) supports natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science and wishes to contribute to the appreciation of these subjects. It was established in 1995 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940 – 2015) with private funds. Its three funding areas are education, research, and science communication. The Foundation’s work in Germany starts in the kindergarten and continues at schools, universities, and research institutions. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting the dialogue between science and society. More information can be found at:



ESO Supernova Planetarium & Besucherzentrum
Garching b. München, Deutschland

Nadine Rausch
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Forscherstation, Klaus-Tschira-Kompetenzzentrum für frühe naturwissenschaftliche Bildung gGmbH
Tel: 06221 / 43103-12

About the Release

Release No.:es2201


Educator Training
Educator Training
Educator Training
Educator Training