KlimaWelten Hilchenbach: Extracurricular place of learning for sustainable education

KlimaWelten (Climate Worlds), an environmental education centre for the town of Hilchenbach, the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein and the region of South Westphalia, started life in the former Florenburg School in Hilchenbach. KlimaWelten is an initiative of the Verein Klimabildungsstätte Südwestfalen e. V. (South Westphalia Climate Education Association). The project aims to raise awareness of climate protection issues among young and old, highlight opportunities for them to take action and promote active climate protection. The sharing of learning, experience and information should help people understand the changing climate, recognise problems of climate change, and together identify the necessary actions and possible solutions.

KlimaWelten target groups are nurseries and schoolchildren up to secondary grade II. KlimaWelten’s work is in line with the directives for primary schools. Tailor-made offers, particularly in the sense of education for sustainable development, provide teachers with an action-oriented and sensible addition to their teaching units. At the same time, KlimaWelten also provides levels of learning and experience for older schoolchildren, apprentices and students as well as further training for educational staff.

Engine for progress:

  • Regional centre and partner of the ‘School of the Future – Education for Sustainable Development’ project of the NRW state
  • Network node for Siegerland region
  • Topics with a direct bearing on individual climate protection

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KlimaWelten Hilchenbach

The former Florenburg School in Hilchenbach is now home to KlimaWelten – a starting point for everyone interested in climate protection.

Learning in the climate kitchen and the climate laboratory

Important elements in KlimaWelten are the climate kitchen and the climate laboratory. In the climate kitchen children and young people can get to know the kitchen as an energy- and resource-intensive place. Here they can find out the CO2-footprint of various foodstuffs. The shared preparation of meals gives the participants a natural acquaintance with fresh ingredients such as fruit and vegetables in season and grown locally.

In the climate laboratory, designed as a workshop, young and older researchers can carry out experiments and make valuable learning experiences: experiments illustrate climate change phenomena such as the greenhouse effect, acid rain or the melting of the ice caps. Experiments on themes such as wind power, solar installations or fuel cells bring to life technological benefits and how new forms of energy work. Special attention is given to materials made from renewable raw materials and the vital role of water. A large meeting room (KlimaTreff – Climate Meeting Point) is available for workshops and seminars.

Gatherings at weekends too

KlimaWelten is not only a communications centre for schools and nurseries: it’s also open for the whole family at weekends and during school holidays. The Climate Experience World with interactive game participation especially appeals to young families. Bookable events for children’s birthdays for 5-12-year-olds complete the range of family offerings. The grounds have also been adapted as a world of experience for this target group. Displays on the theme of water and ecological diversity (insect observation points, herb spirals, natural herb gardens and an observation beehive) all invite family members to experiment and observe.

Photo: privat

Through active experience, using all their senses, visitors to the Climate Kitchen and the Climate Laboratory can learn how cause and effect are connected in climate change and discover what simple changes in behaviour are available to each and every one of us.

Ingrid Lagemann, First Chair, Klimabildungsstätte Südwestfalen e. V. (South Westphalia Climate Education Association)

Partners and sponsors

  • Klimabildungsstätte Südwestfalen e.V.
  • Stadt Hilchenbach
  • Universität Siegen FB Chemiedidaktik
  • Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung
Counselling centers:
  • EnergieAgentur.NRW