Kids of today will be the decision-makers by 2050. How do we help them prepare to face the environmental and social challenges of the future?
A platform filled with bite-sized lessons around the circular economy, making it easy to build custom learning journeys
Generating an abundant open source repository of lessons to create engaging and practical learning journeys for children and teenagers.
Stars Are Circular Foundation has one clear goal: to connect all the different stakeholders in the Circular Economy. When these are mapped out, it’ll be easier to find those win-win-win situations and partnerships necessary for the transition towards the Circular Economy.
For this transition not to have to ‘swim upstream’, chair and founder Rieta Aliredjo soon realised one thing: We need the kids. In the next 30 years, they will continue their education, start their careers, get married, have children, buy houses… maybe even become our leaders. And in all of these capacities, they will make decisions. We need those decisions to be conscious ones.
More importantly, maybe, is that grown-ups tend to listen to the kids in their lives better than they do to other grown-ups. And as said before: We need all the stakeholders to play their part in this transformation. Kids, Rieta thought, are the ones that can really open the doors.
With two teachers for parents, I've always wanted to build something that would support teachers in building their lessons
Rieta started organising Expeditions Circular. Project weeks around circularity, that fit into the ‘free space’ that schools have outside of their curriculum. Every week is built according to the Foundation’s core values: Play, Create, Share, Shine.
But a problem soon arose. Running an Expedition Circular is not very scalable, plus it takes a lot of work. What if we could visually put together a learning journey, in such a way that teachers could easily do it themselves?
Chief Playground Officer @ Stars Are Circular Foundation
Many would ask if the Circular Economy wasn’t too difficult a topic to teach to young kids. But Rieta remained steadfast. Even the most complex concepts can be brought back to a simple seed. Want to teach the concept of ‘exnovation’? Start with ‘letting go.’
To begin, we needed a lesson framework, for which we faced an important challenge. With a future this unclear, how do we know exactly which skills to train for? So, instead, the foundation decided to focus on the 4C’s of the 21st century skills: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.
– upload page 4C’s –
After all, when facing a problem, your critical thinking will enable you to assess the problem adequately. Your creativity will allow you to solve the problem — in collaboration with others who possess other skills needed. And finally, if you’re able to communicate your solution well, you’ll be able to scale it.
The ultimate product became sCoolMakers: An “open source”, community-led database. This also served a secondary goal: helping teachers not to reinvent the wheel over and over by creating custom lessons on new topics — on top of their already heavy workload.
Filter for Sustainable Development Goals, focus on the 4Cs, or look for something online, offline — or even a field trip.
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But not only can you browse, you can build! Build your own project week by dragging and dropping your carefully selected lessons into a custom tailored learning journey.
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Innovative lessons that start with clear learning goals and end with a reflection, right at your fingertips.
– lesson page –
If you’re not in the mood to build a project, or simply don’t have the time: no harm done. You can browse through the community projects and easily duplicate them to your personal environment.
– browse projects, duplicate, show in environment –
Got a lesson to share, but not the most tech-savvy? Not a problem. The lesson uploader guides you through the process step by step. Every lesson should consist of learning goals, an exercise, and a reflection. But feel free to add additional steps — it’s easy!
– lesson builder page 2 –
If you are organising a full-on project week, perhaps you wouldn’t object to a few volunteers. After your project creation, simply indicate that you could use a helping hand.
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Volunteers are able to browse through projects and see which fit their interests and calendar. Want to help out? Simply reach out.
– volunteer page –
The EU, like Stars Are Circular, values the transition towards the Circular Economy and its reflection in education. Thanks to their Erasmus+ subsidy, we were able to roll out an integrated project with the Hochschüle fur Technik und Wirtschaft in Berlin and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. You can read more about the DiTo project here.