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Our Fragile Planet


Welcome to the MOOC Our fragile planet

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The idea of the “Our Fragile Planet” online course is to empower teachers to teach space- and astronomy-related topics to their students.

Teachers from all levels of education can participate, focusing especially on those who are interested in astronomy but never had the opportunity to learn more about it. This course is also great for those teachers who have only limited background information about space sciences and do not feel comfortable when communicating basic information about the Earth to their students.

In this course, participants will learn and practice with engaging educational activities about topics such as the weather, climate and the Earth. Teachers will learn how to strengthen social responsibility in relation to climate change as well as how to raise awareness about different space careers. Furthermore, the course will address questions of diversity and gender balance related to space sciences.

The course capitalises on pedagogical pillars such as inquiry-based science education, ICT tools, managing diversity in the classroom, maintaining gender balance in the classroom and thematic space careers. We will use a variety of online tools and social media to communicate with each other and engage in some peer-review activities as part of the course.

Join us already now in this MOOCs  Facebook group and share your ideas about the topic on Twitter using  #spaceMOOC.

Learning objectives

After successful participation in this course, you will be able to:

  • Present and communicate basic information about the Earth, its properties and uniqueness as well as its fragility
  • Strengthen social responsibility in relation to climate change and its monitoring
  • Tackle misconceptions about the connection of space sciences and astronomy with subjects of chemistry, biology, geography and Earth studies
  • Introduce space-related activities and conduct them at school
  • Raise awareness about and introduce students to a range of space careers
  • Manage diversity and maintain gender balance in the classroom and in thematic space careers


Each module includes activities for all age ranges, so teachers of all levels of education can participate (and not just science teachers). The activities and information introduced could also be useful to science communicators, science museum curators and career counsellors. This MOOC can also be attended by parents who are interested in doing fun space-related activities with their children.


  • Module 1: Planet Earth opens on 24/02/2020
  • Module 2: Climate Change – Part 1 opens on 02/03/2020
  • Module 3: Climate Change – Part 2 opens on 09/03/2020
  • Module 4: Climate Monitoring from Space opens on 16/03/2020
  • Module 5: Submit Your Lesson Plan opens on 23/03/2020


In order to earn a course certificate, course participants need to pass all the quizzes, submit a lesson plan and review 3 lesson plans of other participants. The final deadline to complete all activities is 8 April 2020, 23:59 CET.

Note to teachers from Portugal: You can get your successful participation in a European Schoolnet Academy course formally recognised as a valid continuous professional development, and thereby acquire the relevant number of training hours, by sending your certificate to the Conselho Científico e Pedagógico de Formação Contínua (CCPFC) at Rua do Forno, nº 30, 1º andar - apartado 2168, 4700 - 429 Braga, Portugal. For more information, please contact the CCPFC.

Behind the course

Dr Anastasiya Boiko - course coordinator

(Scientist: Astrophysics and Mathematics) is Project Officer at the EUN’s Science Education Department. Anastasiya uses her extensive knowledge and expertise to promote STEM education in Europe. She is Project Manager of the STEM Alliance and coordinates the activities of EUN in TIWI and spaceEU projects.

The SpaceEU project designs and implements a range of space education and outreach activities which use the excitement of space to inspire young people with space topics and encourage them to choose careers in science and technology. The initiative targets diverse individuals and groups who influence and support young people throughout the complex process of making career decisions, including teachers and educators. Particular attention is paid to stimulating interest among girls and minorities as well as to reaching children in underprivileged communities, where most talent is unrealised.

spaceEU, being coordinated by the University of Leiden, capitalises on existing resources, project experiences and best practices from its extensive networks of STEM education and public outreach. Previous projects have reached more than 550,000 students between 2011 and 2017 and resulted in hundreds of space-related educational resources used by over 15,000 teachers and educators.

Disclaimer and Copyright

EU flag

spaceEU project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821832. The content of this document reflects only the author's view and does not represent the opinion of the European Commission (EC) or the Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the EC nor the REA are responsible for any use that may be made of the information this document contains.


Creative Commons License

All content on this course unless specified otherwise is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

  1. Course Code

  2. Classes Start

  3. Classes End

  4. Estimated Effort

    4-5 hours (25 in total)