Play with water


The aim of the project Waste-Water Resource (Play with Water) is to develop comprehensive teaching units which should enable primary school children (ISCED 1 Level of Education according to UNESCO) to discover basic concepts of ecology and obtain hands-on experience in cycling of elements in nature, and thus the potential of wastewater as a resource.

Play with Water provides teachers with experiments that can easily be integrated in their natural science classes. The materials were developed in close cooperation with stakeholders in the field of education.

Basic information

Country: Switzerland

Coordinator: University of Applied Sciences Zurich

  • Denmark: Aarhus University
  • Norway: Norwegian University of Life Science
  • Germany: Training and Demonstration Centre for Decentralised Sewage Treatment
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig
  • Slovenia: LIMNOS, Company for Applied Ecology
  • Sweden: Mid Sweden University

Programme: Other

Project Acronym:

Target groups: primary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, other

Topic: Environmental sciences


Contact person: Prof. Dr. Ranka Junge

The project team consisted of a group of research institutions active in the field of ecological engineering. The work of the partners focuses on wastewater treatment, eco sanitation and nutrient recycling. The teaching units were tested in schools in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland and Sweden.

Related publications:

  • Junge, R.; Wilhelm, S.; Hofstetter, U. (2014). Aquaponic in classrooms as a tool to promote system thinking. In: Maček Jerala, M.; Maček, M. A. (Eds). Conference VIVUS: Transmission of Innovations, Knowledge and Practical Experience into Everyday Practice. Collection of Papers, Strahinj, 14.–15. november 2014. (234-244). Strahinj: Biotehniški center Naklo. ISBN 978-961-93564-4-9.
  • Bollmann-Zuberbuehler, B., Frischknecht-Tobler, U., Kunz P., Nagel U. & Wilhelm Hamiti, S. (2010) Systemdenken foerdern: Systemtraining und Unterrichtsreihen zum vernetzten Denken: 1.-9. Schuljahr. Published by Schulverlag plus, Bern. 94 Pp. ISBN: 978-3-292-00628-8.


The project gathers a set of teaching units on the following topics:

  • Compost factory: with detailed instructions on how to set up a classroom compost and to let pupils experiment with biodegradable and non-degradable materials,
  • From fish to tomato: provides know-how about Aquaponics: combining the raising of fish with vegetable culture in your classroom
  • Secrets of rivers: reveals how rivers react to different conditions and to pollution and how you can explore these issues with your pupils on excursions.
  • Cleaning water with plants: provides teaching units on treatment of wastewater in constructed wetlands, plus a recipe for artificial wastewater.


If you know of European or national project in STEM education, please let us know. 

Submit project


Read more on what Scientix offers to science education projects

For project managers:

connect with Scientix!

For project managers:

Request support for your project from Scientix Teacher Ambassadors!