LaSciL Winter School 2023

17-21 February 2023

The LaSciL winter course is developed in the context of the project “Large Scientific Infrastructures enriching online and digital Learning”.

One of the main objectives of the LaSciL Winter School is to engage teachers in a productive dialogue concerning the proposed methodology of linking Astronomy and robotic telescopes to the classroom. Educators will have the opportunity to share their experiences and reflect on the implementation of activities based on the LaSciL methodology (including LaSciL demonstrators). They will participate in hands-on workshops on LaSciL resources broadening their skills and knowledge, allowing them to create and/or implement more Astronomy related activities. If weather conditions allow it, participants will also have the unique opportunity of observing the night sky form the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve.

Find out more about the LaSciL project here:

In order to prepare for the winter school you can study the educational material uploaded on the LaSciL website (Demonstrators, Resources). Educators that will participate to the winter school are asked to implement one of LaSciL demonstrators or a self-created activity based on the methodology of LaSciL. This way teachers will be able to share their experience with the other participants, reflect on the activity they implemented and exchange good practices, activities and ideas with educators from all over Europe that will attend the winter school.

When you implement a LaSciL activity please provide us with feedback by filling out a report (in English) and by giving to your students this questionnaire before the activity and this questionnaire after the activity. The student questionnaires require about 10 minutes and are available in English, Greek, Portuguese and Austian. You can find the report and student questionnaires here.

For any further details about the implementation of LaSciL activities feel free to contact us here:

At the end of the course, participants will receive a training certificate that confirms the successful completion of the course.

As members of the LaSciL community participants will have access to support provided by the training team, and they will be able to communicate with other teachers in European countries, who have a common interest, share their ideas and experience and collaborate in joint activities.

The Program of the LaSciL Winter School will be announced soon.

The Winter school will include:

  • Lectures on why and how to introduce Astronomy and robotic telescopes to the classroom
  • Live connection with robotic telescopes from the Faulkes Telescope project
  • Observation of the night sky and visit to a modern observatory (the venue of the winter school is the Lago Alqueva Observatoy which is located in a dark sky reserve area).
  • Hands-on workshops on how to process images acquired from a robotic telescope
  • Hands-on workshops on LaSciL tools
  • Cultural visits that will be combined with night observation and training activities (Monsaraz and Cromeleque do Xerez, Evora and Cromeleque dos Almendres)

The LaSciL Winter School will take place at the Observatorio Lago Alqueva in Portugal.

The Lake Alqueva Observatory – OLA, is an astronomical observatory located at the core of the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve in Alentejo. It was inaugurated in 2016, and built with the objective of being a pleasant place to get to know more about the Universe, to learn astronomy and astrophotography in one of the most light pollution protected  regions in Europe.


About Monsaraz

Monsaraz is a small village located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, near the border with Spain. It is famous for its medieval castle and city walls.  (

The closest town is Reguengos de Monsaraz, about 20km to the west. The largest city in the region is Evora, 55 km to the west.

The nearest airport is Lisbon Humberto Delgado (LIS). The distance from the airport to the Reguengos de Monsaraz is approximately 200 km.


How to get there

The fastest way is by car (2 hours). The local organisers are planning to provide bus transportation from Lisbon to Monsaraz on February 17 and back to Lisbon on February 21. More information will be available on January.

If you want to go by public transportation there are two options.


1. By train to Evora, then a bus to Reguengos de Monsaraz

Trains depart from Lisboa Oriente station to Evora five times a day. The station can be reached by metro directly from the airport. A timetable is available at

At Evora, go to the bus station (Rodoviaria do Alentejo) and take the bus 8102 to Reguengos de Monsaraz. There are 4 daily buses and the journey takes 1 hour. A timetable is available at

From Reguengos de Monsaraz to Monsaraz you’ll need a taxi or arrange a pick-up with the hotel, the distance is 20 km.


2. By bus from Lisbon to Reguengos de Monsaraz

There are two daily buses from Lisbon to Reguengos de Monsaraz departing from Sete Rios station. The station can be reached by metro directly from the airport. A timetable is available at

From Reguengos de Monsaraz to Monsaraz you’ll need a taxi or arrange a pick-up with the hotel, the distance is 20 km.



Hotel Information

Recommended Hotel: Vila Planicie ( 78€ a double room (up to 2 people) with breakfast included


Other hotels in the area

Monte da Pega Guesthouse

Viva Farmhouse

Charme de Monsaraz II

Vivenda Descollaz

More options at and

Monsaraz and Cromeleque do Xerez

Perched high above the River Guadiana close to the frontier with Spain, the tiny medieval walled village of Monsaraz to the east of Évora is one of the most atmospheric places in the entire Alentejo region. With its narrow cobbled lanes, low-rise houses and striking picture-book castle, visitors can feel the true essence of medieval Portugal in one of the oldest places in southern Europe. Monsaraz has been inhabited since prehistoric times as the Celts, Romans, Visigoths and Moors each took full advantage of the hill’s defensive potential.


The Cromlech of the Almendres (Portuguese: Cromeleque dos Almendres/Cromeleque na Herdade dos Almendres) is a megalithic complex (commonly known as the Almendres Cromlech), located 4.5 road km WSW of the village of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, in the civil parish of Nossa Senhora da Tourega e Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, municipality of Évora, in the Portuguese Alentejo. The largest existing group of structured menhirs in the Iberian Peninsula (and one of the largest in Europe), this archaeological site consists of several megalithic structures: cromlechs and menhir stones, that belong to the so-called “megalithic universe of Évora”, with clear parallels to other cromlechs in Évora District, such as Portela Mogos and the Vale Maria do Meio Cromlech.[/caption]


Evora and Cromeleque dos Almendres

Évora is an ancient city listed as a World Heritage Site. It’s one of Portugal’s top destinations for culture tourism, with architecture from different periods of history. Named “Ebora” by the Celts, it’s known for one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in Iberia, and its medieval streets give an idea of what Lisbon looked like before its destruction by the Great Earthquake of 1755. Within its medieval wall is also a Gothic cathedral, Renaissance palaces, a macabre chapel covered with thousands of human skulls and bones, and picturesque squares.


The Almendres Cromlech is a clear reflection, and one of gigantic proportions, of the era of pagan enchantment, known as New Stone Age. Built towards the sunrise and sunset, this megalithic enclosure (mega=big; litho=stone) is located on a gentle slope on Almendres Estate. Formed by two distinct enclosures, built between the end of the 6th and the 3rd millennium BC, this cromlech is one of the biggest and most important megalithic monuments in the world. It is much older than the famous Stonehenge. At its peak, the archeological complex of Almendres Cromlech would have more than a hundred monoliths, granite stones of various sizes. All laid in a circular or elliptical shape. Out of the hundred, ninety five are left today, in perfect state of conservation.


Course fee

The course fee for all ESIA Schools is 480€ (80€/per day) and fully within the funding opportunities of the Erasmus+ Programme.

The course fee covers:

  • Expert lecturers for lectures, seminars and workshops
  • All materials and equipment needed for the course
  • Participation in the social programme & excursions

The costs for subsistence are also within the ceilings of the Erasmus+ programme for KA1 mobility actions.

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