Recycling only works if everyone participates. It is therefore important to make the recycling cycle of products understandable in practice, even for the youngest children. This is the motivation behind the Recycling Day at the KUZ. Elementary and lower secondary school students can visit the research institute and learn more about plastics and their recycling at three interactive stations. The focus is on waste separation and reuse of recyclable materials - child-friendly, playful and designed as a participatory project.
Recycling Day is a team project. At three alternating stations on the topics listed below, the students can explore the recycling of plastics in a varied way in group work. It is the "joint discoveries" and the "aha effects experienced together" that ensure the children's lasting knowledge.
- Station 1 - Plastic variety and plastic recognition
At the first station, everything revolves around the diversity of plastics. Here, the question of which objects and products actually contain plastics is investigated with detective-like flair. Then the students take a close look at the waste from the yellow bag and discover that there are different types of plastic, which they identify and classify.
- Station 2 - Preparation and pre-treatment of plastic waste for recycling.
At station two, among other things, the swim-sink method is used to test how plastics without a printed recycling code can be identified on the basis of their density. Following this experiment, muscle power is required for the first time. Shredding the pre-sorted plastic waste with the help of a hand shredder (HoliShred) is best accomplished in a team of two. As a reward, the children receive color-sorted ground material, which they then take to the third station.
- Station 3 - Plastic recycling and production of new objects
At the third station, the sorted and crushed waste can be turned into something new again. For this purpose, the desired color of the granulate is mixed individually and then filled into the cylinder of the hand injection molding machine (HoliPress). Now it is once again a matter of concentrating all one's strength and pressing down the large hand lever. After demolding, each schoolchild can call a new component (e.g. a spinning top, Lego brick or snap hook made from 100% plastic waste) their own and take it home afterwards.
As of now, in cooperation with the State Office for Schools and Education in Saxony (Lasub), we offer an free, 3-hour training seminar for teachers and educators on the topic of sustainability and recycling under the heading "Education for sustainable development".
In this training course entitled "What's in the yogurt pot besides yogurt?"all participants will gain a basic understanding of the processes and interrelationships that are necessary for a functioning and sustainable circular economy in order to sensitize them to the responsible use of plastics as a recyclable material. In addition, the participants are enabled to carry out the Recycling Day on their own initiative at the respective school or club with the acquired learning content and by using simple and small loan equipment, which can be borrowed from the KUZ for the duration of e.g. the project day or week for a fee. Schools participating in the Ralf Rangnick Foundation's "Unternehmen machen Schule" project can apply for funding of the rental fee.
Therefore, we would like to invite all interested teachers and school educators in Leipzig and the surrounding area to this training at the KUZ. We recommend that at least two participants per school take part in the workshop in order to be able to support each other in the implementation of the RecyclingDay.
Free date for further training of teaching staff and pedagogues of schools in Saxony (booking via the further training catalog of Lasub):
16.03.2023 | 10 am - 1 pm | Leipzig
Free date for in-service training of teaching staff and pedagogues of schools in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia (booking via the Chemistry Teacher Training Center Leipzig-Jena):
24.05.2023 | 14 - 17 h | Leipzig
You can find all important information at a glance in our flyer.