Educating children about circularity – Circular school

Over the course of one school year, a total of approximately 300 elementary school students in Berlin-Karlshorst from grades one to six learned about the basics of circularity and explored how to implement corresponding practices into their own and their school’s routines.


Berliner Projektfonds kulturelle Bildung


Zero Waste Your Life, Mifactori and Kreativitätsschulzentrum Karlshorst


Fall 2019 – Summer 2020

The challenge

Firstly, circularity practices are not part of Berlin schools regular syllabus. It is however important to raise awareness on this topic among young students as they represent our future. Secondly, most schools in Berlin are not run taking circular or sustainable practices into account.

Our approach

Circular Berlin’s facilitators conducted workshops for a total of 15 individual classes, from grades one to six, exploring how to close their school’s loops for different resource flows. Each workshop included three visits to the school of four hours each. Due to corona, some of the sessions were conducted digitally. Topics covered included energy, water, transportation, plastics, textiles, glass, paper, lunch boxes, school canteen, reuse, repairing, sharing, biosphere, greenery, and the school’s surrounding neighborhood. The workshops combined traditional instruction with interactive and creative exercises, practical experiments, and the use of digital media.

The outcomes

By examining their own school and finding creative ways to improve its current practices, the students learned what circularity is, how it works and how it can help to improve both their everyday life and their school’s positioning on circularity. Besides coming up with options to help their school become more circular, each group of students also created a simple campaign website per topic to share the knowledge they acquired with their peers. All the educational materials and resources created by the facilitators has been published using a creative commons licence so the workshops can easily be replicated.

Further steps

We are eager to spread more circularity knowledge among students and teachers. That’s why we’ve applied for funding to co-creatively develop and test further education materials together with teachers and students soon.

ReUse Campaign, Credit: Lars Zimmermann
Reparieren-GIF-kaputtes Reparieren-GIF-Repariert-superkurz ReUse Campaign, Credit: Lars Zimmermann

Project contact person


Laura Grotenrath

Events & Zero Waste Lead

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