EST School Contest: The Sun at a glance

The EST project is holding an infographic school contest all over Europe. The goal is to promote STEM vocations among students while producing material for the EST Solarpedia.


Announcement poster for the EST school contest, available in 8 different languages at


On May 28, 2021 the EST project launched the school contest “The Sun at a glance” in all countries of the European Union plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the UK. The contest is aimed at students in the school years corresponding to the age groups 14-15 and 15-16, who will work in small teams led by one of their teachers. They will have to produce an infographic, consisting of an attractive image and minimal text, to explain in a clear and concise way any aspect of our star, solar-terrestrial relations, solar observations, or solar telescopes, including EST.

The topic of the infographic is free. The EST Communication Office has compiled a list of possible subjects to aid the participants choose one, but any theme will be accepted as long as it is related to the Sun. Most of the topics deal with the physics of the Sun, solar magnetic fields, optics, and telescopes, but other aspects are also proposed, like artistic representations of the Sun, the Sun in ancient cultures, societal aspects, history of solar physics, or famous solar astronomers.

Each student group can submit one infographics, in English. The entries will be evaluated by an international jury formed by solar physicists, science communicators and professional designers. The two best designs will win a trip to Tenerife (Spain), to visit Teide Observatory and the solar telescopes in operation there. PRE-EST will take care of all the expenses for the two winning student groups plus their teachers. The third prize will be a complete solar telescope with an Halpha filter for observations of the solar chromosphere. This telescope will remain the property of the school. The three prizes of the contest are meant to expose the participant to real solar research while promoting the partipation, as an attractive reward to the work carried out by teenage students.

The infographics submitted to the contest will be used to create the EST Solarpedia, an online encyclopedia of the Sun that will be offered to the educational community and the general public as a comprehensive resource of solar physics, solar observations and solar telescopes. The student work will be included in the EST Solarpedia under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, with full attribution to the authors. We believe this common effort to build a valuable resource will motivate the students and their teachers to a great extent, boosting the participation all over Europe.

The work is meant to be done in the classroom, under the guidance of a teacher that may want to seek the collaboration of fellow colleagues to enhance the student creations. This is an excellent opportunity for collaborative work in multiple disciplines that should teach the students how science research works in reality, involving steps such as documentation, research of a topic, discussions within a team, and presentation of results in an attractive manner and in English, the international language of science. We hope the contest will be used by the teachers as an opportunity to work the curriculum of Physics, Biology, Maths, English, Art, IT, and even History!


Registration and submission forms for the EST school contest. They are available in four different languages through We use Google Forms to handle the registration of participants and submission of entries.


This activity has been organised by the EST Communication Office and the EST-Comm group with a clear pan-European dimension from the outset. To spread the information among the schools in the different countries, a contest poster has been produced in Czech, English, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Also the official contest rules are available in different languages so teachers get all the information easily. For the same reason, the information needed to register can be submitted in different languages.

A dedicated contest website has been set up. It contains examples of infographics from different disciplines, as a way to inspire the participants. There is also a section of national contact points, meant to offer assistance to teachers participating in the contest. A great effort has been made by the EST consortium members to name contact persons and ensure that they are available to help and solve questions in their local area of influence. Currently, 19 EST institutions are actively involved in the contest. They represent the following 13 countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

This immense effort will certainly make the contest a success. In return, we hope to raise awareness about solar physics and the need of the European Solar Telescope. In the long term, this activity will allow us to put together the EST Solarpedia, a unique educational resource that will be hosted on the EST website for the benefit of the teaching community and the general public in Europe and elsewhere.

Registration is mandatory. Student groups can sign up for the contest until October 30, 2021 and submit infographics anytime before December 20, 2021.

To give the students visibility, the website will list all the participants, their schools and countries in a dedicated section. The results will be announced on the EST website and social media channels by January 28, 2022. The trips will take place around Easter 2022, COVID-19 permitting. A range of activities in Tenerife are being organised by the project to make the trip memorable. And who knows – maybe some of the winning students will eventually become solar physicists and use EST for their research!


Important dates
Registration opens June 1, 2021
Registration closes October 30, 2021
Submission deadline December 20, 2021
Results January 28, 2022
Visit to Tenerife Easter 2022