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Plastic waste as a topic in school lessons

October 1st, 2020

Marine science webinar on the pollution of waters due to plastic waste

How can teachers address the issue of plastic waste in the classroom? More than 120 teachers from all over Germany addressed this question on Wednesday, September 30th. In a 1.5-hour webinar at the Kieler Forschungswerkstatt, the participants learned where the plastic waste in the oceans comes from and what influence currents have on its dispersion. In addition, they joined speakers Tim Kiessling and Dennis Brennecke from the IPN to see the extent of the pollution and how it affects various marine organisms. The teachers were also introduced to currently discussed solutions from society, technology and politics.

The subjects taught by the webinar participants were just as varied as the topics. They ranged from the traditional sciences to ethics. "Especially socially relevant topics such as plastic waste problems can be treated in a wonderful interdisciplinary way," said a teacher from southern Germany. "I have received many new impulses today and am looking forward to passing on what I have learned to my students.

The Citizen Science project "Plastic Pirates - Go Europe!

In addition, the participants learned how they and their school class can take part in the Citizen Science campaign "Plastic Pirates - Go Europe!" In this project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), boys and girls aged 10 to 16 years collect data on plastic waste deposits on and in German rivers. Scientists in the Kiel Forschungswerkstatt will then evaluate the data. For example, the team in Kiel analyzes which sections of the river are particularly heavily contaminated with plastic or how the pollution develops from the source to the mouth of a river. This in turn allows effective protective measures to be derived that benefit the water bodies and ultimately us all. The results from previous intervention periods can be viewed on the project's website.

Become a plastic pirate yourself!

During 2020-2021, the Citizen Science project "Plastic Pirates - Go Europe!" will for the first time take place simultaneously in three European countries. The children and young adults will then not only conquer the German river banks, but will also participate in the joint project in Portugal and Slovenia.

The current campaign will run until November 15, 2020, with further sampling planned for spring and fall 2021. All information as well as materials such as information flyers, the action booklet or templates for the classroom to download can be found on the project website.

The Kiel Forschungswerkstatt is looking forward to numerous plastic pirates who will continue to collect data for science in the coming project periods!

Webpage Kieler Forschungswerkstatt
Instagram @kieler.forschungswerkstatt
Webpage KiSOC