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Space Week in the City of Science: 4–10 March 2024

16.02.2024 - 13:05 update 19.03.2024 - 12:29
Editors: wc-a
Tags: 50 tygodni w Mieście Nauki

Week #10: Space Week

Date: 4–10 March 2024

  • Curators: Milena Ratajczak, PhD; Jan Pomierny (New Space Foundation)
  • Producer: Agnieska Sikora, PhD (University of Silesia in Katowice)

Description of the week

Week #10 of 50 Weeks in the City of Science is Space Week. The event is part of the European City of Science programme, which will last throughout 2024.

If you are interested in discovering the mysteries of the Universe, would like to learn about the backstage of space missions, take a look at Poland’s role in space and understand how satellites help monitor our planet and its changes – Space Week is perfect for you!

Get ready for a time full of cosmic events, during which every enthusiast of the night sky will find something for themselves. For the youngest, we have prepared a series of out-of-this-world workshops which will convince you that flying into space is no easy feat. Slightly older visitors will be able to engage in discussions with scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and representatives of space agencies during panel meetings. Don’t miss Space Women’s Day and a demonstration of experiments that can be carried out by an astronaut on the International Space Station. There will also be inspiring lectures and night sky observations.

What events can you expect?

  1. Workshops for children on astronomy and astronautics;
  2. Space Women’s Day – it is they who create the Polish cosmos! Meet women who are involved in space research on a daily basis;
  3. Lectures on astronomy and space topics;
  4. Panel discussions on the role of space technology in everyday life;
  5. Presentation of selected experiment concepts for the International Space Station.

The programme might be changed.

Some events require prior registration via dedicated form.

Graphic with an astronaut and text: Space Week, 50 Weeks in the City of Science

Weekly schedule

 

  • 5.30–7.00 p.m. – Fermi paradox – where are the aliens? – panel discussion. Meeting with science fiction creators (Miejscownik. Tygiel Kulturalny, ul. Warszawska 28, Katowice)

“Where are they all?” – the famous physicist Enrico Fermi asked about alien civilizations. As we expanded our knowledge about the space, it turned out that it was as huge as it was… empty. Is Earth the only island of life in the dead sea of the universe? Or maybe aliens are already among us? We invite you to a discussion in which scientists and sci-fi writers will share their opinions about extra-terrestrial civilizations.

The event will be carried out by: Michał Kłodawski, Leszek P. Błaszkiewicz, PhD, DSc, Assoc. Prof. of University of Warmia and Mazury, Anna Końtoch and Michał Cholewa.

The panel is organised in cooperation with the Silesian Fantasy Club.


  • 5.00–6.30 p.m. – Astronauts wanted! – workshop Psychological selection for space mission (Kato Science Corner)

You probably dream of becoming an astronaut, but do you know if you would feel good in this role? Resistance to fatigue, above-average ability to focus, but also optimism and kindness towards others are the features that characterise astronauts. Space explorers undergo a very restrictive selection process and put their mental and intellectual qualities to a test. We invite you to test your strength in the tasks that astronauts face. Maybe the next step in your career will be an application for a next manned mission organised by the European Space Agency?

Workshops will be held by Agnieszka Skorupa, PhD from the Institute of Psychology at USil Faculty of Social Sciences and Agnieszka Szczotka, a psychology student.

Agnieszka Skorupa, PhD is a psychologist, researcher and lecturer. She specialises in analyzing human behavior in extreme situations, especially adaptation to polar conditions. She cooperates with Polish Polar Station, Hornsund and Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station. Since 2020, together with the Martian-lunar space habitat LunAres, she has been involved in research on analog space missions. Originator and coordinator of the AstroMentalHealth research project, which is planned to be implemented on the International Space Station during a mission with the participation of a Polish astronaut. In addition to extreme activities, she also deals with psychological analysis of films. Science populariser, author of psychoeducational classes for young people, speaker at science festivals, moderator of film discussions in cinemas.

Agnieszka Szczotka is a psychology student, interested in space and the future of its exploration by humans. An analog astronaut during the Hestia II mission in the LunAres habitat. Member of research teams dealing with analog astronauts and science populariser.

Registration for the event is required via the form. (to be published) Limit: 30 people. Event for audiences over the age of 16.


  • 6.00–9.00 p.m. – Astronomical observations (Planetarium – The Silesian Science Park, astronomical observatory deck)

We invite you to a unique event organised by the Planetarium – Silesian Science Park and Polish Society of Amateur Astronomers (PTMA), Silesian Branch. Join us on the astronomical observatory deck, where we will look into space using professional observation instruments. Don’t miss the chance to observe the night sky together and discover its secrets with astronomy enthusiasts. We provide unforgettable experiences.

The event is organised by the Planetarium – Silesian Science Park and Polish Society of Amateur Astronomers.

No limit on participants, free admission.


  • 9.00–11.30 a.m. – Building an SSTV transmitter – transmission of images from the stratosphere and space – workshops (Planetarium – Silesian Science Park, Inspiration Hall)

Take part in preparations for the biggest event of Space Week – a stratospheric balloon mission that will rise to an altitude of about 30,000 meters. The balloon launch will be preceded by workshops during which participants will build transmitters that will be used to transmit images during the flight. The workshops will arouse the curiosity of everyone who dreams of a career at NASA!

The workshops will be held by Włodzimierz Tarnowski, Anna Bukiewicz-Szul and Dominik Liśkiewicz.

In the event of unfavourable weather, the event will be held indoors.

Registration closed – no places available!


  • 9.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. – Stratospheric mini missions – workshops (Planetarium – The Silesian Science Park, outside

Build your own stratospheric mission model! In preparation for the launch of the stratospheric balloon, we invite you to participate in workshops during which you will be able to build your own miniature replica of our mission. Participants will be able to take a close look at the entire process, from construction, through balancing the balloons, to calculating the parameters necessary to raise the mission to the appropriate height. So that everyone can see with their own eyes what stratospheric missions look like, we will prepare stations with VR glasses where you will be able to experience images from flights at an altitude of up to 35 km!

The classes will be held by Włodzimierz Tarnowski, Anna Bukiewicz-Szul and Dominik Liśkiewicz.

Free admission.


  • 12.30–2.00 p.m. Start of the stratospheric mission – open event (Planetarium – The Silesian Science Park, outside)

The stratospheric balloon mission promises to be the biggest attraction of Space Week. The balloon, which will take off from in front of the Planetarium – Silesian Science Park, will rise to an altitude of approximately 30,000 m above sea level, leaving Mount Everest behind and crossing the stratosphere. At the launch site, you will be able to see what work is like in the flight control center, where telemetry data from the balloon will be broadcast live, and you will be able to personally receive and decode photos and pictures from the transmitters built during the workshops preceding the flight. There will be experiments on board, thanks to which participants will be able to see what it is like to study the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. After the flight is completed and the cargo is recovered, recordings from cameras placed on board the capsule will be shared.

The event will be held by Włodzimierz Tarnowski, Anna Bukiewicz-Szul and Dominik Liśkiewicz.

Free admission.


  • 10.00–10.45 a.m., 11.30 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. – With a balloon through the atmosphere (Planetarium – The Silesian Science Park, Hall of Ideas)

The Head of the Planetarium – Silesian Science Park meteorological station and author of the website pogodadlaslaska.pl – Damian Dąbrowski, invites you to a lecture during which he will explain how weather balloons are built and how they work.  He will also talk about the structure of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets in the solar system and explain how temperature and pressure change in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Damian Dąbrowski – geographer and meteorologist. For 25 years he worked as a geography teacher in schools at various levels. Since 2022, he has been working at the Silesian Planetarium – Science Park, where he is the Head of the Meteorological Station He has been running the Pognoza Pogody – Damian Dąbrowski Facebook page, since 2013, where he posts, among others: daily weather forecasts for the Silesian Voivodeship and various geographical and meteorological curiosities.  The page has over 230,000 followers. Since 2020, he also runs his own website Pogoda dla Śląska, where he publishes, among others: 24-hour forecasts, multi-day forecasts, curiosities, meteorological warnings and a gallery of his own photos.

Limit: 100 people on each event. Event for audiences over the age of 12.


  • 7.00–9.00 p.m. – Astronomy on Tap – meeting (Hipnoza Club)

Astronomy on Tap, which stands for out-of-this-world discussions over a glass of your favorite drink. This is an international format of popularisation events, which involves meetings with scientists and experts in local pubs, clubs and bars. During the events, invited guests talk about the most interesting space issues and willingly answer all questions from the audience. The idea was born in New York and quickly spread around the world. As part of Space Week, we invite you to the Hipnoza club for the first meeting in the Astronomy on tap format in Katowice. Guests will include astronomers: Łukasz Wyrzykowski, PhD; and Milena Ratajczak, PhD. The program includes talks about black holes, satellites and everything you always wanted to know about space but were afraid to ask!

No limit on participants, free admission. Event for audiences over the age of 18.


  • 9.00–10.30 a.m. – Build your own rocket!– workshops (Janusz Korczak Primary School no. 3 in Czeladź, ul. Stanisława Staszica 47, Czeladź

Are you passionate about otherworldly journeys? Build space rockets with us! We invite young enthusiasts of interstellar adventures to out-of-this-earth workshops! We guarantee fun until the end of the Galaxy!

The workshops will be held by Milena Ratajczak, PhD.

The workshops are addressed to children aged 6 to 10. Limit: 25 people.

Registration closed – no places available!


  • 9.00–11.00 a.m. – Explore the Cosmos with Paxi – workshops (Janusz Korczak Primary School no. 3 in Czeladź, ul. Stanisława Staszica 47, Czeladź)

Paxi is an inhabitant of a distant planet who came to Earth and became the mascot of the European Space Agency. Paxi is also a guide for children from all over the world around the Solar System, our planet, and talks about various phenomena and space missions. During the workshops, we will learn something about the Solar System, perform experiments related to the phases of the Moon, create artistic space works, and much more.

The event will be held by Justyna Średzińska (Copernicus Science Center, European Space Education Office ESERO).

The workshops are addressed to children aged 6 to 10. Limit: 20 people.

Registration closed – no places available!


  • 11.45 a.m. – 1.45 p.m. – Career in the space sector – workshops (Janusz Korczak Primary School no. 3 in Czeladź, ul. Stanisława Staszica 47, Czeladź)

The workshops will take us into the world of space sector careers and help us consider taking up a job in the space sector, both in Poland and around the world. We will start our considerations with the most striking profession among space professions, i.e. how to become an astronaut at ESA. However, not all of us dream of space flights, but we really want to discover, test or send something in space. We also have other ideas that the space sector can implement, but we don’t know about them yet. Together we will consider what space challenges we can solve in the future. We will learn about current and planned space missions in which we may get involved in a few years. We will discuss career areas that may interest you in the future and what steps to take today to realise your plans.

The event will be held by Justyna Średzińska (Copernicus Science Center, European Space Education Office ESERO).

The event is addressed to students of 7-8 grade. Limit: 20 people.

Registration closed – no places available!


  • 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. – Meteorites, visitors from space – lecture with a show (Scientific Information Centre and Academic Library (CINiBA).

Do you want to see real aliens up close? Welcome to the meteorite show! These fascinating space rocks arouse delight, but also fear. As they make their way through the atmosphere, they can illuminate the sky with bright streaks. The ones we find on Earth may be the size of small pebbles or real boulders. During the meeting, you will learn what exactly they are, where they come from and how to tell them apart. You will also be able to see a collection of about 20 meteorite specimens.

The lecture will be held by Kazimierz Mazurek – one of the founders of the Polish Meteorite Society. For over 25 years, as a collector and owner of one of the largest collections of meteorites in Poland, he has been a populariser of meteoritics – an interdisciplinary field of science. He is also the author of numerous articles in specialist publications and several books.

Registration for the event is required via a dedicated form. Limit: 30 people.


  • 11.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.– Designing lunar bases in Tinkercad– workshops (Institute of Computer Science of the USil Faculty of Science and Technology, Sosnowiec, ul. Będzińska 39)

In the future, in order for astronauts to stay on the Moon, Mars or another celestial body for a long time, all infrastructure must be prepared for them. It is intended to meet various challenges awaiting space explorers. Some of them are radiation and meteorite protection, energy production, water extraction and recovery, transportation, robots and software, food production and many, many more. Let’s design space habitats using the 3D design tool Tinkercad.

The event will be held by Justyna Średzińska .

Workshops addressed to 4-6 grade students and teachers. Limit: 20 people.

Registration for the event is required via a dedicated form.

The event takes place thanks to the cooperation with the Copernicus Science Centre, within the ESERO-Polska programme.


  • 11.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. – Silesia from the orbit – satellite images in education – workshops (Institute of Computer Science of the USil Faculty of Science and Technology, Sosnowiec, ul. Będzińska 39)

During the meeting, you will learn where to get, how to understand and what to use satellite images in education. In the first half of the meeting we will go through a series of group activities, and in the second half we will use the free EO Browser tool to become familiar with searching for satellite images for our own needs. The meeting will be held thanks to cooperation with the Copernicus Science Center, as part of the ESERO-Polska programme.

The event will be held by Aleksander Jasiak.

Workshops addressed for secondary school teachers (preferred subjects: geography, physics). Limit: 15 people.

Registration for the event is required via a dedicated form.

The event takes place thanks to the cooperation with the Copernicus Science Centre, within the ESERO-Polska programme.


  • 2.00–4.00 p.m. – Kepler’s laws in action – workshops (Silesian Library, Plac Rady Europy 1, Katowice, Mediateka

During the workshops, we will consider how, when discussing theoretical issues, we can invite students to take manual action and thus better understand what we are really talking about. We will focus on Kepler’s Laws – the principles that govern the movements of celestial bodies. For this purpose, we will try to use the simplest objects possible to see how students can discover what ellipses and orbits are really about. The meeting will be held thanks to cooperation with the Copernicus Science Center, as part of the ESERO-Polska programme.

The event will be held by Aleksander Jasiak.

Workshops addressed for secondary school teachers (preferred subjects: geography, physics). Limit: 15 people.

Registration for the event is required via a dedicated form.

The event takes place thanks to the cooperation with the Copernicus Science Centre, within the ESERO-Polska programme.


  • 7.00–9.30 p.m. – Screening of the film Proxima preceded by a discussion Women in Space (Kosmos Cinema, Solaris room)

On Women’s Day, we invite you to the Kosmos cinema to watch the film Proxima directed by Alice Winocour. The film tells the story of astronaut Sarah (played by Eva Green), who is preparing to fly into space. The film shows the entire process of preparing for the mission in exceptional detail. However, what is most moving in this picture is the unique look at space flight from the perspective of a woman and mother and the challenges it entails – not only for astronaut Sara, but also for her daughter. The film will be accompanied by a discussion panel Women in Space, during which invited guests will share their experiences and observations regarding the presence of women in the space sector.

The event will be carried out by Krzysztof Kanawka, PhD Eng. (Blue Dot Solutions, Kosmonauta.net)

The panel discussion will feature: Justyna Średzińska (ESERO), Anna Chrobry, PhD Eng. (Airbus Defence and Space), Milena Ratajczak, PhD (Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw, New Space Foundation)

Limit: 40 people. Registration for the event is required via a dedicated form.


  • 1.30–6.00 p.m. – Mars rover in the Silesian Planetarium – Open event (Planetarium – Silesian Science Park, lower hall)

Do you want to see up close what a real Mars rover looks like? On Saturday, the Silesian Planetarium will host a unique attraction for all fans of space travel – a demonstration of the Phoenix III rover built by students of the Silesian University of Technology. Phoenix III is the result of the work of a team of students operating within the Interfaculty Student Scientific Club for the Application of Artificial Intelligence Methods AI-METH. The rover has already achieved its first successes – in 2023 it reached the finals of the Anatolian Rover Challenge in Turkey. Take a close look at what the technology that can be used to investigate the secrets of the Red Planet looks like!

No limit on participants, free admission.


  • 1.30–7.00 p.m. – Science is a woman – a series of lectures (Planetarium – The Silesian Science Park, Hall of Ideas)

A meeting with Polish researchers from various fields of science, who will present their passions related to many fields of science. Ada Lovelace, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Elżbieta Heweliusz – these are women who, with the strength of their personalities and determination, paved the way for subsequent generations of scientists at a time when the world of science was practically closed to them. We are delighted to invite you to a meeting with outstanding Polish researchers who will share with us their passions related to many fields of science. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn the secrets of their work and the results of their research. We will also talk about the role of women in modern science and the inspirations that made our guests decide on this career path.

The lectures will be delivered by Anna Fogtman, PhD (European Astronaut Centre); Aleksandra Hamanowicz, PhD (STScI); Agata Szkodzińska (Planetarium – Silesian Science Park); Anna Łosiak, PhD (Polish Academy of Sciences) and Wiktoria Dziaduła (Extremo Technologies).

No registration required, the room can accommodate 120 people. Event for audiences over the age of 15.


  • 12.00–2.00 p.m. – Final Gala of the LXVII Astronomy Olympiad and the final of the Direction: Space competition (Planetarium – The Silesian Science Park, Planetarium Hall)

The grand finale of Space Week – Final Gala of the LXVII Astronomy Olympiad and the final of the Direction: Space competition. This is an event during which you will be able to meet the most talented young astronomers, as well as scientists and designers from various fields. The Astronomy Olympiad has been organised for over 60 years by the Silesian Planetarium. After the qualifying rounds, held in cities all over Poland, the qualified participants come to Chorzów for the final stage. During the final gala, we will meet the most talented young winners of the olympiad and find out who will win the Direction: Space competition initiated by ESA astronaut – Sławosz Uznański.  The competition participants were tasked with developing concepts for experiments that could be carried out on board the International Space Station. For the winners of the Astronomy Olympiad and the Direction: Space competition, this event will certainly be the first step to a great career in the space sector. Be with us!

Registration for the event is required via a dedicated form. Limit: 130 people.


Profile of the curators

Milena Ratajczak – PhD in astronomy, Assistant Professor of the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw. Her scientific interests focus on double stars and extrasolar planets. She promotes science as the coordinator of the UNAWE educational programme in Poland and a member of the board of the New Space Foundation and the Polish Astronomical Society. She cooperates with popular science magazines, edits books and games on astronomy. Co-founder of the creative studio Science Now specialising in science communication and the development of new ventures at the interface of science, education, art, and entertainment.

Jan Pomierny (New Space Foundation) – creative director and producer who has been developing projects at the intersection of science, education and culture for over 20 years. Founder of the strategic design studio Science Now and the New Space Foundation. He built his professional experience as the founder of one of the largest thematic portals on the Polish Internet (Astronomia.pl), then as a journalist, publisher, creative producer, and director. One of the originators of the SPLOT Institute. Member of the Royal Astronomical Society. Initiator and producer of the sci-fi film Ambition, depicting the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission. One of the creators of the Polish Pavilion at the World Exhibition EXPO 2020 in Dubai. Ambassador of the Silesian Science Festival KATOWICE since 2021.

Funded by European Union

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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