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FREIRAEUME (engl. spaces) - Development of an interactive exercise platform about microplastics from A to Z


Over the next few months with FREIRAEUME, we will create an interactive and scalable exercise platform covering everything to do with microplastics. We develop them with teachers and students at an integrated comprehensive school in Mannheim for use in MINT+environmental subjects. Innovative learning and teaching formats are created from individual and group exercises, (self-)assessment of learning status and progress, feedback modules, and learning pathways.

FREIRAEUME combines interaction and experimentation with self-determination and change.

The project is made possible, among other things, thanks to the participants of the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie and the resulting #PostcodeEffect.


What is FREIRAEUME about?

Digitization and the topic of sustainability are finding their way into schools. We use these spaces to take action and set the course for synergies. Following our mission for water without microplastics, we build teaching/learning OPEN SPACES in the networking areas MINT+environment. WASoMI (WATER without microplastics), our digital-real educational space, lays the foundation whereby scientifically based information on polymers, plastics, , and microplastics is available open access in the form of animations, graphics, images, and short texts. Since May 2022, it is accessible to all interested parties free of charge and without advertising at www.wasomi.de.

Our FREIRAEUME is about increasing the usability of the educational space WASoMI (available in German) within a school context with an interactive exercise platform and this is even more important, increasing the user-friendliness for use within schools for teachers, students and pupils.

With our newly developed FREIRAEUME, we create different, individually designable approaches and perspectives on the main topics of polymers, plastics, and microplastics and establish direct links to active environmental protection.

The project phases of FREIRAEUME include designing, programming, and piloting the interactive exercise platform within schools. With the involvement of the students and teachers of secondary level I of the Integrated Comprehensive School Mannheim and assistance from the areas of digital didactics, innovative teaching/learning concepts are taken up and developed in a co-creative and participatory process.

In FREIRAEUME, knowledge acquisition and exercise opportunities become possible “on demand”. The aim is for the pupils / students to be as self-structured as possible in the formats and subject areas and, depending on their learning needs, set their own priorities. Teachers are there to support them as needed.

The pupils / students not only receive feedback on their learning status and progress from the teachers, but also via the exercise platform. Modules for self-assessment enable independent control and serve to expand your design skills.

In schools, little is possible without didactics and methodology.

Polymers, plastics, and microplastics are the main topics of the educational space WASoMI. Capturing these in their multi-dimensionality will benefit greatly from an exercise platform with a cross-linking and cross-thematic educational concept. We see it as our task to design them co-creatively and participatively with students and teachers and to make them available to a broad audience.

With our new project FREIRAEUME (engl. spaces), we would like to further simplify the access to education and knowledge transfer, increase the possibilities and variations, and at the same time reduce complexity. In our FREIRAEUME every pupil / student and teacher  is given the opportunity to explore new paths in education interactively and experimentally at their own pace, with and without guidance.

We are pursuing three major goals with FREIRAEUME

  • Knowledge induces action: With the creation of a broad knowledge base for more effective action for water without microplastics, we not only deal with the problem, but also actively support effective action. Under the motto "Everyone is part of the solution" we start together with the pupils / students and teachers.
  • Building bridges: We would like to convey the relevance of natural and environmental sciences for our everyday activities in an active and motivation-enhancing way. Inclusive and diverse, barrier-free, and interactive - these are big buzzwords, but they are also exactly what we want to achieve with our FREIRÄUME. We don't select, we bring together.
  • Increasing the coolness factor: We have given ourselves the task to do justice to the complex topic of microplastics in a scientifically sound manner and at the same time to be easy to understand without oversimplifying.

In our blog and in the Wasser 3.0 newsletter we will keep reporting about the project and the progress. Stay curious, we are too.