Education & Outreach

CIRCBIO have designed a range of programmes to boost the contribution of the circular & bioeconomy to meet industry and environmental needs in the transition to a carbon neutral society.

Eve Savage leads out on education & outreach activities focused on the needs of second and primary level students related to the circular economy and bioeconomy. The CIRCBIO research team has developed a suite of micro courses that support the development of a pipeline of skills and talent ready to meet future societal and economic needs. The Green Economy and sustainability jobs are increasing exponentially in STEM skills areas such as Green Chemistry, Bioprocessing, Engineering, Agriculture and Food, Environmental Sciences and Biodiversity. Globally there are 6.2 million Green & Sustainable focused Jobs currently unfilled requiring a new generation of skilled and savvy professionals (World Economic Forum, 2022).

Eve says, “Young people today are bombarded with a huge level of negative messaging about climate and the environment that leaves them feeling powerless – we want to flip that on its head by promoting and highlighting the innovations and creative possibilities that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) provide to benefit society, the economy, and the planet. We build programmes and workshops that integrate design thinking and state-of-art technology that support the building of transversal skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork and creativity in combination with circular & bioeconomy education.”

The Climate Action Plan 2021 firmly places Ireland on a sustainable path to a zero-carbon economy by 2050 in line with the EU (European Union) Green Deal, Climate Action, and Low Carbon Act 2021. The European Green Deal, EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030, UNESCO strategy Education for Sustainable Development 2030, UNECE and EU Youth Strategy 2022 highlight the key role of primary/secondary level schools and higher education in engaging with learners, parents, educators, and the wider community on the changes needed for a successful, just, and inclusive green transition. Climate skills were highlighted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA, 2022) noting “global challenges in sustainability and climate change require cross-generational problem-solving, collective ingenuity and motivation”.

The Department of Education are responding to this need with a new senior cycle curriculum in Climate & Sustainability with pilot programmes commencing in 2024.