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Ground-breaking website brings sustainability alive in the classroom
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 00:00
Renewable World LaunchAn exciting new website, showcasing thought-provoking interactive games and activities, is bringing the topical issue of sustainable development straight into the classroom and making it relevant to today’s teenagers, tomorrow’s adults.

Renewable World LaunchLaunched today, Wednesday 24 February, 2010, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Renewable World website (http://www.renewableworld.org.uk) provides an accessible and innovative cross-curriculum resource for Key Stage 3 pupils and teachers on the importance of using renewable materials in a world of dwindling resources.

Online games challenge students to decide whether everyday products like their clothes, the building materials in their homes or the fuel that heats their schools are renewable or not. Other activities investigate renewables in the past, present and future.

Developed for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as part of the Growing Schools programme – and project-managed by Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) – the initiative reflects a growing awareness of the importance of renewable materials in developing a more sustainable future. The Renewable World site breaks new ground by providing high quality teaching materials, backed by solid science, in a hitherto relatively under-resourced area.

The role of the NNFCC in providing a coherent scientific framework to the site has been fundamental to its development.

The long-term significance of renewable material use – manufacturing plastics from plants rather than oil, for example – is likely to be immense and by focusing on sustainable development, with its obvious curricula links to citizenship and science, it provides an ideal topic of investigation for students.

At Wednesday’s launch Schools Minister, Diana Johnson, underlined the website’s timely importance in helping students to a richer and deeper understanding of sustainable development, emphasising the government’s commitment to see all schools as Sustainable Schools by 2020.

“It’s vital that our young people lead the way in making our planet a greener, more sustainable place to live,” she said. “And because we’re absolutely committed to making sure every pupils leaves school understanding how their actions affect the world around them, sustainable development is now a compulsory part of the national curriculum, and we’re working hard to make every school a sustainable school by 2020.

“But in order to bring such important issues to life in the classroom, teachers and pupils need access to high quality materials that are exciting, relevant and fun to use. The Renewable World website provides exactly that, and will help young people learn about how sustainability directly impacts on their lives – from what they eat to how they travel to school each morning”.