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Our planet’s natural resources are finite. Whilst this is nothing new, too little is being done to right the situation. We continue to waste the supplies of raw materials we have, whether it be wood, minerals or metals. If we want to have sufficient volumes of resources in the future, then it is essential that we learn to handle them responsibly. High time, therefore, for a sustainable change of attitude! And this is precisely what the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ new teaching material aims to achieve. Presented at the didacta for the very first time, it proved to be extremely popular among the teachers and teaching specialists visiting the exhibition.
Once again, Europe’s largest educational fair was held in Hanover this year, giving the more than 750 exhibitors five days to showcase their materials for kindergartens, schools, universities and further training institutes. For the second time now since 2013, REMONDIS’ RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS took part in the event. What began two years ago with a board game and a few worksheets has now become a comprehensive concept with educational theatre performances and on-tour events – such as attending the Federal President’s Summer Festival in Berlin.
This, however, was not enough. Last year, a concept was developed to produce comprehensive, activity-oriented teaching material that could be used to help kindergarten and primary school children learn how to handle waste and recyclables correctly. “We feel it is really important that the facts about waste segregation and recycling are not simply taught to the kids but that they really have fun at the same time,” said Johanna Spinn, manager of the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS project, as she described the concept behind the new materials.
Fun, informative, age appropriate, effective – four adjectives describing the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ new teaching material for kindergartens and primary schools.
These were presented to the public for the first time at the didacta – and proved to be a huge success. 1,000 educational packs were handed out to kindergarten teachers and a further 1,000 to primary school teachers after they had taken part in a detailed discussion about the new material. The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS team has also been extremely busy since the event finished, processing the many enquiries they received.
The goal behind this project is to make it clear that waste is not really waste but a mixture of valuable raw materials which can be recycled – and that everyone can help to recover these valuable materials so they can be re-used, simply by separating their waste correctly in their homes. Whilst this knowledge is passed on to children in kindergartens through play (by getting them to put the right stickers on the right wheelie bin poster), a special workbook has been developed for primary schools that has been divided up into different chapters which can looked at in more detail during class.
The new material will teach young children how to save our raw materials.
In addition, the primary school pack contains six different recycling posters for group work and a DVD with a number of short films. “This comprehensive collection of material has been specially adapted to meet the needs of the different age groups and can be used straight away by the teachers in their classroom. They don’t need to change a thing,” explained Johanna Spinn.
The didacta was not, however, only used to present the new teaching material for the kindergartens and primary schools. Secondary school teachers were also asked about the importance of using class material on subjects such as recycling and the scarcity of raw materials. Around 300 questionnaires were filled out during the didacta and the information given in these will now be used to develop a concept for creating teaching material for secondary schools. The target is to have completed this over the next nine months so that it is ready for the next didacta. “We want to get young people to be genuinely interested in sustainability and environmental protection. This is an ongoing process throughout the whole of their time at school – from primary all the way through to senior high school,” Johanna Spinn continued. The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS are looking forward to the exciting projects due to take place over the coming months – both in and outside the schools. They are, for example, already putting together their plans for when they take part in the Federal President’s Summer Festival this year.