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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides a wealth of resources which help students explore the circular economy. Through creativity and innovation we can build a circular system based on three principles: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. The circular economy is an interdisciplinary topic with strong connections across Economics, Business Studies, Design and Technology, Geography, and the sciences.

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides a wealth of resources which help students explore the circular economy. Through creativity and innovation we can build a circular system based on three principles: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. The circular economy is an interdisciplinary topic with strong connections across Economics, Business Studies, Design and Technology, Geography, and the sciences.
Introduction to the circular economy
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Introduction to the circular economy

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This collection of resources includes, a variety of lesson plans and activities to get started with circular economy learning, as well as three films in which the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's CEO Jamie Butterworth introduces the concept of the circular economy, the core principles of this model, and an overview of the work of the Foundation.
The Future of Energy
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The Future of Energy

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Developed in conjunction with National Grid, this resource focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the context of a circular economy, and is designed for use in: - Integrated STEM and/or standalone maths, science and technology at age 11-14. - Level 2 science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as any new qualifications built around the circular economy - Level 3 physics, chemistry, engineering, design and technology and business studies - Selected Higher Education courses (mainly engineering)
Illustrations pack
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Illustrations pack

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This resource contains a series of high-resolution images developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's graphic designer Graham Pritchard. They can be used as a classroom stimulus, in handouts or in presentations.
Circular economy: Redesigning plastics
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Circular economy: Redesigning plastics

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Plastics have become an integral part of modern life, providing many benefits for consumers and producers. But what happens to our waste plastic? Where does it all end up? Is recycling plastics really that effective? In this lesson, students will explore how we use plastics in everyday packaging and how these might be redesigned in such a way as to not become a ‘waste’ problem. Moving beyond methods to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ at end of life, students will explore ways of designing waste out of the system from the outset. Subjects: Design and Technology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Business Age range: 12+ Total time: 2x 45 minutes (90 minutes total) Skills: Communication & teamwork, problem solving, creativity & imagination, presenting, scientific inquiry Learning intentions: To deepen awareness of the systemic challenges around plastics packaging and how these might be overcome through redesign.
The circular economy and modern agriculture
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The circular economy and modern agriculture

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This lesson is part of a series that introduces students to a different way of thinking about how we could use resources more effectively. The series builds up exactly how a circular economy approach is different from the status quo, and looks at the associated economic, environmental and social advantages. Subject: Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Biology, Chemistry Age range: 12-19 years Total time: 45-70 minutes Learning Outcomes: • To understand the challenges around conventional monocultures and soil quality • To explore the importance of seeing the whole system when designing solutions • To critically evaluate the challenges in modern agriculture and securing food supply for the future.
Circular economy: Understanding the challenge of finite resources
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Circular economy: Understanding the challenge of finite resources

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This lesson is part of a series that introduces students to a different way of thinking about how we could use resources more effectively. The series builds up exactly how a circular economy approach is different from the status quo, and looks at the associated economic, environmental and social advantages. Learning outcomes: To understand the urgent challenge that finite resources pose to our current economic system • To explore economic history since the industrial revolution through personal narrative • To critically evaluate our current consumption and production systems and explore better ways of dealing with resources. ** Subjects (ideal for but not limited to):** Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Sociology, Business, Citizenship, Design and Technology Age range: 12+ Time: 45-70 mins
Circular economy: Challenging common conceptions
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Circular economy: Challenging common conceptions

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This lesson is part of a series that introduces students to a different way of thinking about how our economy could work: a circular economy. The series builds up exactly how a circular economy is different from the status quo, and looks at the economic, environmental and social advantages of a new approach. Subjects: Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Sociology, Business, Citizenship Age range: 12-19 Total time: 60 minutes Learning outcomes: • To understand that environmental issues can be intrinsically linked to economic issues • To critique the flaws inherent in some common approaches to environmental education • To begin to investigate a different way of approaching environmental, social and economic issues
Designing for a circular economy
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Designing for a circular economy

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This lesson is part of a series that introduces students to a different way of thinking about how our economy could work: a circular economy. The series builds up exactly how a circular economy is different from the status quo, and looks at the economic, environmental and social advantages of a new approach. Subjects: Economics, Sociology, Business, Citizenship, Design Technology Age range: 12-19 years Total time: 120 minutes Learning outcomes: • To learn about companies that have adopted the circular economy framework • To design a product or service based on the circular economy
Exploring the circular economy
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Exploring the circular economy

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This lesson is part of a series that introduces students to a different way of thinking about how we could use resources more effectively. The series builds up exactly how a circular economy approach is different from the status quo, and looks at the associated economic, environmental and social advantages. Learning outcomes: to compare living systems with man-made systems • to critique our materials economy • to begin to investigate an alternative model: the circular economy ** Subjects (ideal for but not limited to):** Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Sociology, Business, Citizenship, Design and Technology Age range: 12+ Time: 60 mins
Circular economy: Challenging common conceptions
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Circular economy: Challenging common conceptions

(0)
This lesson is part of a series that introduces students to a different way of thinking about how we could use resources more effectively. The series builds up exactly how a circular economy approach is different from the status quo, and looks at the associated economic, environmental and social advantages. Learning outcomes: To understand that environmental issues can be intrinsically linked to economic issues To critique the flaws inherent in some common approaches to environmental education To begin to investigate a different way of approaching environmental, social and economic issues ** Subjects (ideal for but not limited to):** Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Sociology, Business, Citizenship, Design and Technology Age range: 12+ Time: 60 mins
How to run your own Teardown Lab
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How to run your own Teardown Lab

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Taking products apart can be one of the best introductions into the circular economy concept. In December 2012, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation ran a series of Teardown Labs across the UK. Teachers and designers took apart everyday products, analysed the materials in them and the disassembly process, and considered how they could be re-thought within a system, in a future of volatile material and energy prices and growing global population.
Made to be Made Again - Teachers' Guide
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Made to be Made Again - Teachers' Guide

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These materials have been produced to support teaching and learning in chemistry classes for the 14-19 age range. Made to Be Made Again includes: - A fast track teacher introduction to the circular economy - Guidance notes on how the materials can be used in initial teacher training.? These resources will link to the revised teaching standards for England. - Two pairs of lessons aimed at the 14-16 age range and the 16-19 age range. - Supporting notes, resources and comprehensive lesson plans. Each lesson plan is linked to appropriate specification or National Curriculum points
The Linear System - Big Bang Fair 2012
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The Linear System - Big Bang Fair 2012

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Our current manufacturing processes are still based on the cheap energy and resources of the industrial revolution. With a growing population and finite resources, can we maintain this take-make-dispose way of doing things? What's the solution?
More Efficient? Big Bang Fair 2012
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More Efficient? Big Bang Fair 2012

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What does being more efficient actually mean? Henry Ford made cars in a more efficient way, so more people could own a car. But as efficiency goes up, prices come down. What would we have to change to make efficiency really helpful?
Re-thinking Progress
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Re-thinking Progress

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There's a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design the way we make stuff. &'Re-Thinking Progress&'; explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works - designing products that can be 'made to be made again&' and powering the system with renewable energy. It questions whether with creativity and innovation we can build a restorative economy.
Fewer People? Big Bang 2012
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Fewer People? Big Bang 2012

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World population is predicted to rise from 7 to 9 billion by 2050. That's lots more people trying to use ever-decreasing resources. China has introduced a one-child law - should every country do this? Could this lead to moral and social issues?
Use Less? Big Bang Fair 2012
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Use Less? Big Bang Fair 2012

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If we all use less stuff, surely that would save us money, as well as valuable resources? But would it make sense for a country to focus on using less? What would have to change to allow using less to be OK?