An unusual sight awaits visitors to the IMS these days: mountains of old cables, CD players, broken kitchen appliances and other electronic waste are collecting in the facilities of Year 4-6. Behind this rather unusual fact is a good cause: the children are collecting electronic waste from the entire neighbourhood as part of the “E-Waste Race”. E-Waste Race promotes ecological awareness and sustainable action. In the project, pupils can actively deal with the topics of e-waste and recycling. They learn about the impact on people and the environment and about the circular economy. And: how everyone can simply act sustainably and contribute to environmental protection.

It is a dark morning in November. An expert from Das macht Schule is giving a talk on sustainability. “Did you know what valuable resources are used in your electrical appliances?” she asks the group. The children guess, naming metals, plastics and other materials. Hearing that their mobile phones contain valuable raw materials like diamonds and gold, the dry topic of waste sorting suddenly becomes exciting. An excited whisper rises up through the class. “Less than half of the electronic waste is being disposed of properly. Most of it is lying around in the cellar. But we could recycle rare raw resources and help the environment,” the expert explains. She tells the children about the E-Waste Race. The children are given time from 14.11. to 7.12.2022 to collect as much e-waste as possible. They will compete against eight other Berlin schools and can win a trip to the Extavium in Potsdam. On an online platform, the chosen team leaders enter the e-waste that is brought in and store the parts in the bins provided for the competition afterwards. They can check online at any time how much e-waste they have collected compared to other schools.

For weeks, the children have been enthusiastically designing advertising posters, campaigning in neighbourhoods and making videos to draw attention to their project. And they are successful: after only the first week, the bins, which are supposed to be lined up until the end of the competition period, have to be emptied.

The teachers are happy about the success of the new school project, because it has a great impact on the team spirit. Additionally, skills such as organising and coordinating a group project are promoted. IMS is to find out in mid-December whether their efforts will be enough for the win.