Sustainable Schools – An IDL STEM design challenge

This interdisciplinary approach using STEM/ STE(A)M subjects involves the learners being ‘hooked’ by a plea from the head of their Council to design a new school sustainably. Ideas of fair trading and fair testing are explored in the resource.

This resource comprises five sessions: auditing your school’s current sustainable features, learning about fair trading using:

  1. a maths building game,
  2. designing and then
  3. making a sustainable school t-shirt (fast fashion)
  4. building a windmill with easy materials
  5. applying the fair test principle in which scenario the windmill works better.

This resource includes:
• A teacher block overview for the five sessions (Auditing your School’s sustainability, Fair Trade building, Sustainable School Clothing, Building Wind turbines, Fair test on a wind turbine)
• Learner log-book (learner planning sheet)
• Teacher guide for each session with any associated material [worksheet (lesson 1), ppt slide (lesson 2), hyperlinks]
• Learner ‘hook’ letters (This can be customised to your situation)

Learning outcomes in the Curriculum for Excellence
TCH 2-02b, TCH 2-04b, TCH 2-06a, TCH 2-07a, TCH 2-09a, MNU 2-10b, MNU 2-20b, MTH 2-16c, SCN 2-04a, SCN 2-20b, SOC 2-08a, SOC 2-20a, EXA 2-06a, LIT 2-02a, LIT 2-07a.

Sustainable schools – an IDL STEM design challenge, has been created as a teaching resource for the City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘Curiosity Club’, an Intervention Strategy initiative, aimed at promoting regular attendance in primary schools.

This resource was created as part of the GeoScience Outreach Course, which is a 4th year undergraduate course in the School of GeoSciences aiming to provide students with the opportunity to develop their own science communication and engagement project.

To find more Open Educational Resources from the University of Edinburgh, visit

Author: Nicole Campbell, adapted by Kay Douglas and Charlie Farley.

Unless otherwise stated, all content is released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.


Save for later
  • Session-2-Editable-building-shapes.pptx
  • About-the-resource-Sustainable-schools---an-IDL-STEM-design-Challenge.docx
  • Planning-Record-Learning-Log-inc-pre-and-post-self-assessment.docx
  • Session-1-Sustainable-school--Audit-TG.docx
  • Session-2-Editable-building-shapes-on-word.docx
  • Session-2-Fair-Trade-Builders-TG.docx
  • Session-3-Sustainable-School-clothing-TG.docx
  • Session-4-Building-Wind-Turbine-TG.docx
  • Session-5-Fair-Test--Principle-and-Wind-Turbines-TG.docx
  • Teacher-Block-Overview.docx
  • Sustainable-School-image-citations.xlsx

About this resource


Created: Nov 19, 2020

pptx, 54 KB


docx, 3 MB


docx, 241 KB


Report a problem

Creative Commons "Sharealike"

Creative Commons "Sharealike"