Raising awareness of EU citizens and students on sustainable consumption
E-Mining@School (E-M@S) project raises awareness among EU citizens and secondary school students from five European countries (Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden) on the reuse and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), environmental impact and economic challenge of present lifestyle. The idea is to educate 11 to 18 years students at school through open pedagogy, including frontal lessons, hand-on experiments, visits to industrial facilities and labs, and strengthen their scientific and entrepreneurial aspects. During the E-M@S project, students organised various activities dedicated to e-waste topic with the support of local project experts and competed in an international challenge. The winning team was awarded a three-day study trip to Brussels to attend the 3rd EU Critical Raw Materials event to present their initiative.
Environmental education for the Innovators of the Future
The training of young generations is the safest medium-long term investment we have. A solid body of scientific publications consolidates the positive impact of training activities related to environmental education and recycling.
The E-Mining@School project focused on raw materials in WEEE, circular economy and business. The project was organised in two phases, the first at schools and the second with the community, including local authorities and NGOs. In two-years, more than 2000 students have been trained, more than 4000 people have been reached through dissemination activities, and more than 5000 people have been involved in the awareness-raising campaigns promoted by the students (e.g., events on the streets, photo exhibitions, videos, conferences, e-waste collection). During the e-waste collection challenge, the teams were able to collect tons of e-waste, partly donated to NGOs or repaired, mostly processed and reconverted through cooperation with local recycling companies. The winning team from Castletroy College Ireland was nominated finalist in three categories of the prestigious Pakman National Awards 2019 and won the ‘Battery Champion’ category for the innovative cross-curricular project of E-M@S. The students were able to interact through an education platform, improving workgroup and communication skills.
Discovering career opportunities in circular business
The project belongs to the Wider Society segment of the EIT RawMaterials Academy with main target audience represented by high-school students. The learners were educated and inspired along the E-M@S path and encouraged to promote additional activities to reach younger pupils and their families. Finally, the general public was involved through a variety of dissemination events, campaigns, open-access education material and gamification platforms. Once aware of the e-waste cycle, young people were exposed to business and career opportunities offered by the raw materials recovering sector through interaction with local industries. The education experience of the E-M@S has consolidated in young generations the vision for a sustainable society where the technology-waste-product cycle can generate value for the environment and the society as a whole.
E-M@S education project has contributed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 11 – School students and the general public learn the importance of recycling e-waste and explore its business potential.
- SDG 12 – Students are educated to the sustainable consumption of electronic devices and technology.
- Hub Innovazione Trentino S.c.a.r.l. (HIT), Italy (Lead Partner)
- ACS Recycling Electronics de Catalunya SL, Spain
- Circularise, Netherlands
- Consell general de Cambres de Comerc Industria i Navegacio de Catalunya (General Council of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce), Spain
- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy
- Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy
- Fundació CTM Centre Technologic, Spain
- IVL Svenska Miljoeinstitutet AB (IVL Swedish Environmental Research lnstitute), Sweden
- Relight S.R.L., Italy
- Università degli Studi di Trento, Italy
- University of Limerick, Ireland