Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 63/2024

Teaching Sustainable Development at school: an interdisciplinary school project about plastic pollution

Marco Gastaldi1,2, Alessandra Beccaceci1,3 & Eleonora Paris1
1Scuola di Scienze e Tecnologie, Sezione di Geologia – Università di Camerino, Italy.
2Istituto Comprensivo "Novelli-Natalucci"- Ancona, Italy.
3ISC Via Ugo Bassi - Civitanova Marche (MC), Italy.
Corresponding author e-mail:

Volume: 63/2024


We created a didactic interdisciplinary activity to address plastic waste production generated by human activities and its effects on polluting oceans, lands and contaminating the food chain. The activity involved 12-13 years old student belonging to four different schools. The project has been divided into three phases: 1) An introductive seminar about plastic invention, production, use and disposal; 2) A workshops on plastic recognition and classification, observation at different scales, effects on oceans, food chains and organisms; 3) An outdoor learning activity, on the beach (or at school premises), which consist of plastic and sand samples collection). The workshops, in groups, included the identification and measurement of the plastic waste produced at home, bioplastics production, observation of the mineral composition of sandy beaches and micro-/meso-plastics fragments, connection of size/shape to plastic types, effects on organisms. By integrating biology, chemistry, geoscience and circular economy, it was possible to discuss the sustainability of human activities on the environment. Post-activity questionnaires submitted to the students revealed that their environmental awareness improved significantly, that they understood the importance of the citizens role in reducing waste production and demonstrated their optimistic vision for future change.


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