The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Promotion of Plant Awareness within the Project faNutec

Nicklas Müller, University of Bremen (Germany)

Doris Elster, Institute for Science Education, University of Bremen (Germany)


The great challenges of our age incorporate issues directly and indirectly connected to the environment. Examples of direct challenges are environmental quality and biodiversity changes. Other problems include individual’s lack of awareness regarding agriculture, nutrition and global hunger. [1] Green school movements seem to be an educational transformative anchor to sensitize and education children and adolescents for these global challenges. [2]

The project Fanutec (pupils farm using the latest technical possibilities) is a cooperative project of the Waldschule Hagen in Lower Saxony (subject connection Biology and Robotics) and the Institute for Science Education – Biology at the University of Bremen in Germany. The project is based on the FarmBot ( This is a robot operating on a 3D rail system with programmable control technology for autonomous management of small areas. This enables secondary school pupils to try out technical possibilities of agriculture. With this new methodological approach, great potential is seen in creating the basis for the development of sustainability awareness among the students.

In the 2023 pilot study, a questionnaire was used to measure the PAD index (Plant Awareness Disparity; 25 items) [3] in a sixth grade (N=27). In addition, the questionnaire contained further 56 items to measure interest in botanical content, biology lessons, and interest in technical equipment and the FarmBot. After evaluating the questionnaires, 11 students were selected to conduct guided interviews. The aim was to interview students who achieved a particularly high or low PAD index in order to find out possible reasons for the PAD index. The maximum PAD index is 100 and the minimum is 25. The larger the index, the lower the plant awareness disparity. The evaluation of the questionnaire has shown that there are large differences in the PAD index achieved among sixth-grade students. The lowest index is 48 (subject KA11EL), the highest is 80 (subject AZ09OR). The mean value of the indices is 64.13 (SD = 8.67). The evaluation of the interviews has not yet been completed. First findings demonstrate that plant mentors could have a positive impact at the PAD index.

Keywords: Biology Education, Technology Education, Plant Awareness


[1] United Nations (UN). (2015). Transforming our World – Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. New York: United Nations. 

[2] Elster, D. (2020). Eco-Schools Movement in Germany in the Light of Educational Reforms. In: Gough, A., Lee, J.CK., Tsang, E.P.K. (eds) Green Schools Globally. International Explorations in Outdoor and Environmental Education. Springer, Cham.

[3] Parsley, K. M.; Daigle, B. J.; Sabel, J. L. (2022). Initial Development and Validation of the Plant Awareness Disparity Index. In: CBE life sciences education 21 (4), ar64.

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