Plastic waste in the ocean – Who takes the garbage out? (from class 7 onwards)

Beim Kurstag in der Ferienakademie dreht sich alles um das Thema Plastikmüll in den Weltmeeren

Project day on plastic waste in the ocean:lab

Starting with school year 2018/19, the Kieler Forschungswerkstatt introduced a new six-hour long program about plastic waste in oceans. Boys and girls from classes 7 to 13 tackle this problem during their project day. Moreover, they learn about what everybody can do against pollution of the ocean.

Polluted beaches and animals trapped in plastic litter

The topic of plastic waste increasingly gains attention. Pictures from polluted beaches and animals trapped in plastic waste are widespread. Many children and teenagers wish to do something about this problem. But its seriousness and diversity are paralyzing at first. This is where the project day of the Kieler Forschungswerkstatt begins, followed by possible solutions from research and society.

Which possible solutions do already exist and what can each one of us do?

There are already research projects and innovative ideas for the solution of the problem in many fields of society. The students gain insight of how researchers investigate the topic. Also, they learn which possible solutions alternative plastics and waste management provide. The question of what everyone can do about the problem is addressed, as well.

Course program for the project day Plastic waste in the ocean

In an introduction, staff of the Kieler Forschungswerkstatt informs about basics of marine pollution. Other effects on marine biocenosis are discussed, too. Afterwards, students pass four different stations in smaller groups. At every station they investigate different solution approaches.

  • Microplastic – small particles, big problem
    Where on Earth are beaches most polluted by microplastic? What are the reasons for that and why is it important to know about it? The students will get to the bottom of these questions with the help of a scientific investigation. Besides the methodological procedure, the meaning of these kinds of investigations for tackling environmental issues will be focused on.
  • Bioplastic – an alternative with potential?
    Bio garbage bags and cutlery made of bioplastic promise to be biodegradable. At this station, students learn whether this promise can solve the problem and what bioplastic exactly is in chemical term. Together, we produce bioplastic and analyze its biodegradability.
  • Inform and convince with stop motion-movies
    Social networks serve to spread a multitude of information. This could be used to bring global pollution to people’s attention. At this station, students produce a stop motion-movie that informs about the problem of ocean waste. They are supposed to analyze the added value of social networks for tackling waste problems.
  • Recycling of plastic – a second chance for raw material
    Germany is a pioneer in separating and recycling waste. But what exactly happens when the trash leaves our homes and what kinds of recycling exist? The girls and boys will learn about this elaborate process and investigate advantages and disadvantages.

The project day takes about 6 hours.