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A Week With the GDP
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Read about Derek Demeter's Week With the GDP

A Week With the GDP


Week with the GDPThe Society of German-Speaking Planetariums (GDP) invites colleagues from around the world to join them for a week of professional development and cultural exchange for A Week With the GDP.

Applications for the 2020 competition are being accepted between now and 31 December.

A planetarium in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland will host a planetarium colleague from another country for the week, which will be arranged to best fit the schedules of the winner and the host facility.

A Week With the GDP expands the professional development initiative started in 2017 with A Week in the United States and is supported by IPS as an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange. It is offered under the auspices of the International Relations Committee.

Both are modeled on the long-running and successful An Astronomical Experience in Italy for an American Planetarium Operator. It is hoped that "A Week in" will serve as a model for other countries to follow and, as the years pass, evolve into cultural and professional development exchange around the globe.

The details

Letters of interest explaining why you wish to be considered for this experience are requested from educators and/or astronomers who work with any of the various models of planetariums and who are comfortable making presentations in English or German. (Specifically, applicants should expect that all lessons and presentations will be conducted in English or German while at the host planetarium.)

Applications are accepted from all countries of the world.

For your initial application, please also provide:

  • Your curriculum vitae or resume;
  • One mp3 audio recording of three minutes or less on any astronomical topic (E.g. space science, history, a special interestn or describing your passion for planetariums); and
  • Two letters of reference.

The winner will be asked

  • To provide text of a lesson plan with activities and stories. The preliminary text of the lesson is required so that teachers will have ample time to work with their students before the experience.
  • To present a lesson of approximately 45 minutes in length; it can be about such traditional topics as daily motion, orienteering, latitude motion, solstices and equinoxes, constellations, mythology, and so on.
  • To be prepared to teach the lesson at either a basic or an advanced level. Some classes are extremely interested but do not know a lot of astronomy, and others have studied astronomy in depth. Like their counterparts around the world, students in the GDP countries are interested in science and learning about other cultures, have a good sense of humor, and certainly display the usual excitement about the planetarium.
  • To make a public presentation or presentations in a variety of venues. It would be interesting if the presenter could provide an introduction with slides about their life and experiences in astronomy outreach and then present a lesson.

In addition, the winner will

  • Receive a maximum of $1,000 for transportation. Room and board will be provided. (The winner is welcome to extend the stay before or after their agreed-upon week, but additional expenses for tourist travel, hotel, and meals are their own responsibility.)
  • Need to be available for a minimum of one week.
  • Be asked to write a final report that will include the text of the lesson, comments from the students, and impressions of the experience, and may be asked to make a presentation at their IPS Regional Affiliate conference. The report also may be printed in Planetarian.

Send your application by 31 December to

Tilo Hohenschläger
Friedensstraße 1
37318 Bornhagen

Mobile: +49-170-3400163
Office: +49-5661-91996613


After the application:

A committee of judges composed of representatives from the host planetarium and IPS Regional Affiliates will review each applicant’s submission and choose the winners. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decisions no later than February.

For more information, please see the A Week With the GDP FAQ.

Creative Commons LogoNote: By applying for this contest, you agree to release copyright of your original script and recordings and release the works under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which makes your work public domain (



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