Primary School, Secondary School

Act Now for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs in STEM Education
© Science on Stage

Sustainability and environmental protection are important topics for students throughout Europe. How we deal with these issues will shape our future. Motivated and skilled teachers are the key to enabling students to meet the challenges of tomorrow. This is especially true for STEM teachers.

They communicate important knowledge to students in order for them to not only understand the problems but also think about possible solutions.

„Sustainable Development” has been a guiding theme at the Science on Stage festivals for many years. Hundreds of teachers have submitted their innovative teaching projects, where students can explore environmental and sustainability issues. All these projects represent inquiry-based learning approaches.

Our aim is to support teachers throughout Europe in their continuous professional development and to disseminate high-quality teaching ideas with our teaching materials.

The teaching material "Act Now for the UN Sustainable Development Goals" was officially published on 14 October 2022.

The project „Act Now for the UN Sustainable Development Goals"

Science on Stage has launched this international two-year project in which 20 teachers from 11 countries work together to develop and test ideas on how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in STEM lessons. The aim was to create concrete and hands-on teaching concepts that encourage students to become active and responsible citizens while promoting their interest in STEM subjects.

The topics

To ensure that teachers can engage students from primary to secondary school with these materials and also use them for different subjects, the authors developed teaching units covering a wide range of topics such as climate change, smart cities, sustainable materials and responsible food production.

Developing the materials together

Due to the situation, in-person project meetings as well as visits between the authors, an important part of previous projects, were unfortunately not possible. This did by no means hinder the authors in working together to develop innovative new teaching materials. In addition to hands-on experiments, the publication will also contain materials that can be used in distance learning. In online meetings, with the whole group as well as in smaller teams, the authors discuss and refine their materials. Testing the teaching units in different countries enables teachers from all over Europe to use the final materials.

The publication

The results are published in a way that could be described as digital-first. Teachers get a deeper insight with videos and various interactive materials which they can use directly with their students. The material is easily accessible, be it from desktop or mobile devices. So teachers are not only get inspiration and ideas about concrete SDG-related topics but also on how to use digital tools in their classes.

Background of the SDGs

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all UN member states in 2015. They are an urgent call to action to improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our forests and oceans.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Teachers play a deciding role in sensitising young people to the challenges of reaching the 17 SDGs. At the same time, it is important that students are not discouraged by the scope of the problems but are encouraged to think about and design possible solutions. STEM is very important to address these problems and solve them.

You can find more information here: background information

Sustainability is not only an important topic in our projects but also in our everyday work life. Find out more about how we work here.

The project "Sustainability in STEM Education" is organised by Science on Stage Germany and proudly supported by SAP.

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Further activities about the SDGs

Our materials on sustainability

Have a look at our teaching materials with SDG topics here

Our competitions on sustainability 

SDG Instagram competition

From October to November 2021, we organised a competition on Instagram that asked teachers to tell us: How do they inspire their students with the 17 SDGs? The submissions were made by means of 90-second videos. All entries and the winner can be found here.

Future League 

To coincide with the publication of the SDG materials, Science on Stage invites STEM teachers and their classes to get creative together: How can one or more of the 17 sustainability goals be implemented in the classroom? The application period runs until 15 June 2023. 

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