New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The GreenLab_OS - Micro Plastics in our Environment

Michael Budke, Institute of Chemistry of New Materials, University of Osnabrück (Germany)

Sarah Vortmann, Institute of Chemistry of New Materials, University of Osnabrück (Germany)

Marco Beeken, Institute of Chemistry of New Materials, University of Osnabrück (Germany)


The topic of micro plastics and their negative effects on the environment increasingly got into the focus of public discourse in the last few years. It is a very important environmental issue by far and even though it has recently been made subject of discussion by politicians, the society and economists alike, it has not yet been addressed in the educational context of schools and science education. The increasing use of plastics in general has led to a high annual amount of plastic waste each year. This however, is not the end of it since lot of said plastic waste finds its way into rivers and seas. While wind, sun and waves interact with parts of macro plastics some smaller parts break apart. If the degradation has reached a certain level these small parts are called micro plastic. Also, the cosmetics industry and washing machines occur to be a source of micro plastics. Marine researches work under tremendous pressure to find out about the effects of micro plastics on the biotic an abiotic environment. To establish this topic as part of the school curriculum, some of the current research subjects were adapted and simplified as school as model experiments. Currently, it is one offering in the mobile student’s lab of the University of Osnabrück. This extracurricular lab day is a great offer for high school students in which they perform chemical experiments and discuss biological aspects of sustainability. In this presentation, the experiments of the lab day as well as an implementation of the current research in school will be presented. 

KeywordsMicro plastics, student lab, sustainability;


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