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Project History

The story of the SchülerUni goes back to the year 2005 where the FFU offered an educational program for school children focussing on climate and energy at Freie Universität Berlin. This multi-day program was the first on its kind in Germany. Since then the format, in cooperation with other European universities, developed into a widely accepted educational program. The Berlin Schools @ University project was honoured by the UN as a contribution to the alliance “Nachhaltigkeit lernen” in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

2005: Birth of the Schools @ University project focussing on energy and climate

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster the Freie Universität Berlin offered for the first time in Germany an educational program for school children at the University focussing on energy and climate from the 20. until the 24. of March in 2006.

The Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) developed this educational concept on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment to impart the topics energy and climate as well as sustainable energy consumption to young people without finger-wagging. In four days a show as well as eleven interactive lectures and workshops had been offered. The demand was so high that about 2.600 school children participated in all the events offered.

2008 – 2011: The European project schools at university climate + energy (SAUCE)

As reaction to the positive feedback of the first Schools @ University project with thematic focus and because of the sizable lack of knowledge in regard to climate and energy in primary school and lower secondary level the idea of a Schools @ University project with the title “SAUCE – schools @ university climate and energy” had been further developed on a European level from 2008 until 2011. This project was promoted by the program Intelligent Energy Europe of the European Commission.In the course of three years this educational project was successfully offered at Freie Universität Berlin as well as at the partner universities in London, Wien, Roskilde, Aalborg, Riga and Twente. About 18.000 school children and 1.250 teachers participated in those European programs.

At Freie Universität Berlin the FFU offered in collaboration with the Berliner Energieagentur five Schools @ University events from 2009 until 2011. You find background information und the programs of this project at the English Website.

Experiences gained from the SAUCE project are collected in the German SAUCE-Manual and in ther German SAUCE Practical-Guide.

2011 – 2015: From a project to an institution – Schools @ University for Sustainability and Climate Protection

Based on the experiences gained in the European Project SAUCE (2008-2011) the FFU since 2011 successfully continues the SchülerUni with an extended thematic focus and with a new name. Thanks to support and promotion the FFU succeeded in instutionalising the project. Until the end of 2015 eight one-week SchülerUnis will be offered at the campus of Freie Universität under the new title “Schools @ University for Sustainability and Climate Protection” and for primary school children of the 5th and 6th grade. The program of the SchülerUni aims at teaching young people the knowledge and the competence for shaping the future world sustainably and equitably.

2015–2020 Sustaining the Educational Format in Cooperation with the Climate Protection Partners of Berlin

In 2015 Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin’s Government and the climate protection partners of the Berlin Government Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Berliner Stadtreinigungsbetriebe (BSR) and the GASAG signed bilateral cooperation contracts with FFU with the common educational goal to support the ESD format Schools@University for another 5 years. Thanks to the support of these partners, ten program cycles and ten accompanying teacher trainings are being run at Freie Universität since 2016.