SCHROTTY: USING ELECTRONIC WASTE TO INCREASE AWARENESS FOR SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY
FH JOANNEUM (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The climate of the earth is changing, especially educators have the responsibility to create awareness for the upcoming problems, for example the problem of electronic waste. Old devices contain environmental pollutants, heavy metals, dangerous chemical compounds as well as very rare and valuable resources. These substances are very difficult to recycle and therefore many old devices are thrown away. Students have to be aware of these problems and change their behaviours, act responsibly and in a sustainable way.
In this paper we present the concept of our project called “Schrotty” (Schrott stands in German for discarded metal) intended to find realisable solutions to create this awareness and we will share some experiences of the first project year.
Awareness depends on understanding the underlying technology. To achieve this teachers have to provide the students with appropriate situations and possibilities to learn about electronics. Two problems often reported are the lack of knowledge of teachers and the limited financial resources. In our project we try to solve these problems. On the one hand we bring together schools and organizations dealing with electronic waste. Therefore, the companies can provide knowledge and resources and children as well as teachers learn about the work and goals of the companies. On the other hand we use discarded devices and components. By using obsolete devices and electronic parts students can learn about the basics of electronics in a constructivist way by trial and error. Since the abandoned electronic components are free of charge, students are able to learn from their mistakes without fearing consequences when something is broken.
We have created an internet platform to exchange pedagogical material as well as experiences of teachers and students. We intend to start a process where organizations and teachers work together to develop courses and workshops to increase the knowledge, the awareness and the abilities of students at the age of 10 to 18 years. These workshops can be either in the field of art (building decorations and jewellery out of waste electronic equipment), technology (reusing parts of abandoned devices for building e.g. robots, microphones and speakers) or didactics (students research and create learning materials about sustainability). With a special video platform we intend to give the students the possibility to publish their experiences and help others.
Keywords: Innovation, technology, environmental sustainability, recycling, waste electronic equipment.