Astra is the national Centre for Learning in Science, Technology and Health in Denmark, established by Law in 2009.
Our contribution to society is to strengthen and develop science learning so we train a new generation with strong science competencies. It is important for the future of Denmark and our role in a globalized world.
Our vision is that all children and young people achieve science skills that will enable them to express themselves as creative and critical citizens.
Astra works to ensure:
- that all young people gain insight into and skills in science subjects, as a formative prerequisite for being an active citizen in the 21st century
- that a greater proportion of young people choose science education and careers
Many stakeholders in Denmark share our vision, and there are numerous initiatives to strengthen science learning both in terms of projects, policy, and legislation. We work to develop, gather, and share knowledge so that our joint efforts will see successful results.
Our mission is to be the coordinating and unifying actor strengthening science learning in Denmark.
As the national centre, Astra assumes responsibility for developing a cohesive science education across Denmark. Through the development and dissemination of knowledge, collaboration, and coordination, we will create measurable value to all who teach science or otherwise share our vision of a new generation of young people with strong science skills in Denmark - including the most talented.
Three areas of priority
All science teachers should be strengthened and enriched - because teachers are central to students' learning and motivation
Science education should receive political attention - because there is a need to optimize the environment in which science teachers act, and for society at large to support them
Development within STEM education should be coordinated and improved - because we all need to build upon strategies that work and strengthen development in the areas where it is needed
Our focus is primary and secondary education as well as transitions to higher education. We are working particularly on strengthening the coherence of the education chain.
Our primary target group is teachers and players from the framework around the formal educational system.
We are located in offices around the country, to foster local initiatives and cooperation alongside our national programmes and development projects.
Examples of our activities and projects
The list below is far from comprehensive, and only serves to illustrate types of activities which we engage in - typically in collaboration with some of our many partners (list of current partners in Danish).
Danish Science Week
Every year, more than 150,000 students from all over Denmark take part in Danish Science Week, a national event that aims to create engaging experiences with science and technology for Danish children of all ages. The science week takes places every year at the end of September
Big Bang Conference
The by far largest annual conference for STEM teachers in Denmark - coordinated by Astra in collaboration with many other stakeholders from the field of science education.
Unge Forskere (Young Scientists) is the largest annual Danish national science fair - accepting science projects from Danish elementary schools and high schools from students up to 21 y.o. We strive to find and acknowledge talents in the field of natural science and believe that science is a powerful tool to understand and change the world for the better.
Examples of international projects and activities we have participated in
Scientix - Astra is the national contact point for Scientix - the community for science education i n Europe
DESIRE - Disseminating Educational Science, Innovation and Research in Europe
InGenious - aiming to reinforce young European's interest in science education and careers and address future skills gaps
EUSEA, European Science Events Association was co-founded by Danish Science Factory, now part of Astra
We have agreements with a number of international organizations including CAST (Chinese Association for Science and Technology), BAST (Beijing Association for Science and Technology), the American Science Festival Alliance , and many international partners who organise national science fairs/competitions.