ESO Astronomy Camp for Secondary School Students

Win a free winter trip to the Alps

13 May 2013

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and its Science Outreach Network is collaborating with the science communication event organiser Sterrenlab to arrange the first ESO Astronomy Camp. The camp will take place from 26-31 December 2013 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthelemy, Nus, Italy. Several partners, including ESO, are providing for a total of, so far, five bursaries that will be awarded to the winning applicants.

The camp will explore the theme of the visible and the invisible Universe through lectures, hands-on activities, and nighttime observations with the telescopes and instruments at the observatory. Social activities, winter sports, and excursions will contribute to making the camp a memorable experience for the participants. ESO will be responsible for the scientific programme for the ESO Astronomy Camp, and will, together with other partners, provide lecturers and material.

Sterrenlab specialises in the organisation of international science camps for children and teenagers, and offers a variety of services in consultancy, and in the design, and implementation of projects and events in the areas of science education and communication.

The camp will be available for a maximum of 55 secondary school students aged between 16 and 18 from the ESO Member States and ESO Science Outreach Network countries. Students wishing to apply should fill out the form on the Camp website before 15 October 2013. The selection of the candidates will take place on 31 October 2013. Final confirmation from the participants is due by 8 November 2013. The selection criteria and other instructions for participation are given on the Camp website.

The registration fee of 480 euros covers full board accommodation at the hostel of Saint Barthelemy, supervision by professional staff, all astronomical and leisure activities, materials, excursions, internal transport, and insurance. Bus transport between the observatory and the airport of Milan Malpensa will be provided.

The applicant with the best entry will win a free trip sponsored by ESO. This bursary will cover the complete cost of the camp and transport to the camp, and will go to the best application from a student residing in one of ESO’s Member States. Four national partners are also providing free Camp registrations to the best applications from a student residing in their respective countries (but not travel funding):

  • Italy: Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica and University of Milan
  • Poland: Polish Astronomical Society and Urania — Postępy Astronomii and Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Kujawsko-Pomorskiego
  • Spain: Sociedad Española de Astronomía
  • Switzerland: Université de Gèneve

The ESO Astronomy Camp has so far been endorsed by the following institutions:

  • Austrian Planetarium Society
  • Planétarium de l'Observatorire Royal de Belgique
  • Tähtitieteellinen yhdistys Ursa (Ursa Astronomical Association)
  • Haus der Astronomie
  • Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica
  • Società Astronomica Italiana
  • University of Milan – COSMO group
  • Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA)
  • Polish Astronomical Society
  • Urania — Postępy Astronomii
  • Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra
  • Observatorio Astronómico — Universidad de Valencia
  • Sociedad Española de Astronomía
  • Onsala Space Observatory
  • University of Geneva
  • University of Cag — Space Observation & Research Centre
  • Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network
  • UK National STEM Centre

Follow the Camp website for updates.



Cristina Olivotto
Tel: +31 6 48268645

Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49-89-3200-6761
Cell: +49-173-3872-621

About the Announcement



The astronomical observatory of the Aosta Valley
The astronomical observatory of the Aosta Valley