Discover the COSMOS Contest for Teachers

created: Sat, 30 Mar 2013

Discover the COSMOS aims to demonstrate innovative ways of involving teachers and students in e-Science through the use of existing e-Infrastructures, in order to spark young people’s interest in science and in following scientific careers. In this framework, and in partnership with Astronomers Without Borders, we are inviting you to take part in a challenge:

The Discover the COSMOS Challenge is open to teachers and students from all over the world. The challenge is designed to encourage collaborative work between teachers, trainers, scientists and students, with a view to promoting the exploration of online scientific resources in the classroom – i.e. e-Science tools, resources and e-Infrastructures. For the contest, we are being supported by the following e-Infrastructures, who will be providing the astronomical images to be used for the contest: Astronomical Observatory of Coimbra, National Schools Observatory and Faulkes Telescope Project.

The winner of the contest will be invited to participate in the Discover the COSMOS Summer School in Volos, from July 30th to August 4th 2013. All expenses of the trip; travel, lodging, meals and course fees are included in this prize.

The educational activities created during this challenge, and enriched by the use of Discover the COSMOS tools and resources, should be designed to promote the introduction of the scientific method into the classroom. As a result, we encourage schools to think of themselves in terms of scientific researchers and their infrastructures, so that students can adopt a scientific rationale and approach towards the activities they intend to develop.

The sharing of good practices and ideas is a major goal of this contest. Therefore the clarity of instructions, the completeness of information and the methodology to be used in classroom should be seen as crucial factors for those participating in this challenge.

General Rules:

  • 1. This contest, organized by the Discover the COSMOS Consortium, is open to teachers, trainers and students from private and public schools from all over the world. All grade levels and disciplines are eligible.
  • 2. All educational activities submitted must involve the application, manipulation or reproduction of astronomical images made available during the month of April 2013 through the following website:


  • 3. The images are freely provided by the Astronomical Observatory of Coimbra, the National Schools Observatory and the Faulkes Telescope Project. The material presented to the contest must use the images promoted during the month.
  • 4. Participation in the contest implies the automatic consent of competitors to allow publication of their material in the Discover the COSMOS repository, and its use by other interested parties.
  • 5. Participants that:
    • do not hold an account for the portal, need to be registered at the following link: All those registering will receive a confirmation email.
    • already have an account for the portal they may use it, within the same period as above, for uploading their learning activity and therefore participating to the contest

    NOTE: Participants must ensure that they have the support of the school to participate in the competition.

  • 6. Participants will need to successfully upload their learning activity by the end of May 15th, 2013 in accordance with the following structure:
    • Learning Activities should follow the inquiry learning model using any of the images available here The activity has to be in pdf format, with a maximum of 5 pages (excluding annexes). Annexes can be pictures, photographs, drawings, videos, files and folders in zip format.
    • The activities must be uploaded following the process described on the portal:
    • The activities must specify all the resources needed to realize the idea within the classroom and the activity should be easily replicable by peers.
    • The contest judges will value activities that promote the active involvement of students and feed their curiosity.

    NOTE: You are kindly advised to send an email at, after uploading your learning activity with the link to it.

  • 7. The judging panel will only consider materials uploaded by May 15th 2013 if they have been issued with a formal confirmation of receipt.
  • 8. The material will be evaluated according to the following criteria: the proper selection of images, the structure of the learning activity, the scientific precision and the creativity.
  • 9. Winners will be informed via email by May 31st, 2013.
  • 10. Participants should confirm their willingness to participate in the summer school before June 10th 2013, and should support the organization in making all the necessary arrangements (for more information about the summer school have a look here.
  • 11. The judging panel reserves the right of not awarding the prize in the event that the quality of the presented learning activities does not justify it.
  • 12. The judging panel will have an odd number of members and will be made up of researchers and teachers from the Discover the COSMOS consortium.
  • 13. There will be no right of appeal on the judges decision.
  • 14. Omissions shall be resolved and decided on by the Discover the COSMOS consortium members.

NOTE: For further information, suggestions or help, please send an email at