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This section publishes news about the project, articles highlighting ideas and suggestions on teaching about energy at school, as well as chat reports. The content of this section is intended to support and inspire both teachers and students and enrich their knowledge on energy-related themes.

Plastics and Automotive chat

The next FuturEnergia chat will take place online on 27 February 2013, from 10:00 to 11:00 CET.
The theme will be Plastics and Automotive, and our expert - Peter Haug, SABIC Innovative Plastics GmbH - will be here to answer your questions

FuturEnergia meets Italian students in Matera

Solar Impulse helps raise future aspirations of the young students

The project "Solar Impulse - Around the world on a solar-powered airplane" was presented to about 100 students of Liceo Classico Duni, Matera, on the occasion of the first school visit of FuturEnergia in Italy on December 10.

Revolutionising healthcare: Plastics and Medical Applications

Next FuturEnergia chat will take place on 18 December from 10-11 CET. Due to the large success of the previous chat on Medical Applications, FuturEnergia will be running another chat on a similar topic: “Plastics and Medical Applications: Revolutionising healthcare”. This chat will give students and teachers the possibility to ask further questions on the future of healthcare to Daniel Behrens, Marketing Manager Healthcare, Ticona. More info on his biography here.

Major school event at easyJet’s Headquarters – London Luton Airport Solar Impulse inspires 150 students

The school event “Solar Impulse – Around the World in a Solar Airplane”, which took place at easyJet’s Headquarters at London Luton Airport, UK, was a huge success. The two-hour visit brought together young students from local schools, experts from the aircraft and plastics industry and the local MP Gavin Shuker. Adrian Whyle - PlasticsEurope - and Richard Thommeret - Solvay - shared their expertise on materials and energy efficiency with around 150 students and their teachers.

Plastics in Medical Applications

Next FuturEnergia chat will take place on 9 November from 10-11 CET. The purpose of this chat is to give students an understanding of the role of plastics in medical applications.

Futurologists predict a revolution in healthcare in the next 25 years that will dramatically extend human life spans. Children born then could have life expectancies stretching to 130 years. A combination of gene-based therapies, stem cell medicine and molecular-nanotechnology will introduce a new model of medical science which will prevent disease from occurring and will offer significant life extension and even physical and mental rejuvenation.

The chat will give students the opportunity to raise their questions directly to the industry: Marie-Rose Caputo, Sales Development Manager Plumbing & Healthcare, South Europe, together with Ole Grondahl Hansen, Managing Director of the PVC Information Council of Denmark, will be the experts answering questions during the chat. More info on their biography here

Engage your school year with FuturEnergia!

Have a look at FuturEnergia activities from 2012 and find inspiration for your class!

More events are planned until the end of 2012. Stay tuned if you want to take part with your class in online debates and school visits.

Solar Impulse excites British students

The project “Solar Impulse – Around the World in a Solar Airplane” formed the highlight of the first FuturEnergia school visit in the UK. Two experts - Adrian Whyle, PlasticsEurope, and Richard Thommeret, Solvay – shared their expertise on materials and energy efficiency with around 90 students and their teachers on 10 July 2012 at Copley High School in Stalybridge, Cheshire.

Plastics on the pitch

Next FuturEnergia chat will take place on 19 June from 10-11 CET. The chat will aim at giving an understanding of how plastics have revolutionised sports in recent years. From tracks on which Olympic athletes pursue new records to shoes, clothing, safety equipments (helmets, kneepads) and stadium construction (water and drainage pipes, seats, roofing), modern sports heavily rely on plastics.

The chat will give teachers and students the opportunity to raise questions directly to Thomas Schmidt, a former Olympic champion in slalom canoeing. More information on the expert are available here.

Bioplastics – the beginning of a new era?

Next FuturEnergia chat will take place on 31 May from 10-11 CET. The chat will aim at giving an understanding of bioplastics, the newest members of the plastics family.

Promising research and development currently under way in Europe might soon allow for the production of plastics from CO2 emissions. But what do we mean when talking about bioplastics? What are their benefits? Will they help to fight litter?

The chat will give teachers and students the opportunity to raise questions directly to experts from industry and university: Francesca Aulenta, Plastic Affairs and Communications BASF, and J.H. Harry Bitter, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University. More information on the experts.

Marine Litter, a global societal challenge

Next FuturEnergia chat will take place on 16 April from 10-11 CET. The purpose of this chat is to give students an understanding of the complex and multi-dimensional problem of marine litter that affects the world’s oceans and seas. Plastic litter is harmful for marine life and has an impact on a truly global scale. Despite rising media and political attention the magnitude of the problem is still largely unknown.

Participate in the FuturEnergia online quiz and win a prize!

Do you feel confident on the topic of Sustainable Buildings? Participate in the FuturEnergia online quiz and win a cash prize for education purposes for your class!

Smart take-off towards saving energy and protecting the climate

Flying around the world without fuel, without emissions, without pollution – this may sound like futuristic fiction. “Solar Impulse” has actually transformed this vision into reality.

Building a sustainable future

On 1 March 2012, Stephen Long and Arjen Sevenster, experts from the Building&Construction sector will be answering questions of teachers and pupils on how innovative materials can help create highly performing buildings with low energy demands and thus, protect the climate.

The experts will also be telling about some of the most innovative building projects worldwide. For more information on the experts, press here.

Tomorrow’s vehicles are made today!

On 18 November 2011, between 10.00 and 11.00 CET, the Futurenergia school programme will be hosting an online chat with Dr. Willy Hoven-Nievelstein, head of the Engineering Plastics Europe unit of BASF.
For a more complete CV, press here .

Life as a Scientist – an exciting career path!


On 25 October 2011, between 11.00 and 12.00 CET, the Futurenergia school programme will be hosting an online chat with Dr. Patricia Vangheluwe.


Patricia Vangheluwe holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and has a Master in Controllership from the Vlerick Management School in Ghent (Belgium). From 1989 to 2007 she held various senior management positions in Shell, Montell and Basell including R & D, technology, strategy and communications.

Since 2007 Patricia has been Vice President Human Resources at LyondellBasell. She joined PlasticsEurope in October 2010 as Director of Consumer and Environmental Affairs.

Life Cycle thinking made easy - is there a life after death for materials?

On 3 May 2011, between 13.00 and 14.00 CET, the Futurenergia school programme will be hosting an online chat with Professor JOSÉ M. BALDASANO RECIO.

Professor Baldasano is Bachelor (1973) and Doctor (1983) in Chemistry from the "Universidad de Barcelona" (Spain), Chemical Engineer (1976) from the "Institut National Polytechnique" of Toulouse (France) and Master on Science in Chemical Engineering (1979) from the Sherbrooke University (Canada). For a more complete CV, press here .

What is the future of plastics?

On 5 April 2011, between 11.00 and 12.00 CET, the Futurenergia school programme will be hosting an online chat with Udo Tschimmel, on the subject "What is the Future of Plastics?".

Saving Energy and Protecting the Climate: Together, yes we can!

On 17 February 2011, a tone-setting event on energy efficiency took place at the European School Brussels III.

Educating schools on energy – what is the future of energy education in Europe?

To start the new year 2011, FuturEnergia has scheduled an online debate (chat) to discuss and analyze the future of energy education throughout Europe. Two energy education experts: Paul Xuereb and Cveto Fendrein from two European countries, Malta and Slovenia respectively, will lead the discussion. To prepare for the chat, make sure to consult their entry on the FuturEnergia blog!

Professor Jacqueline McGlade urges young people to give more courage to the world leaders at COP15

During an online debate that took place on the FuturEnergia website on 25 September 2009, Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director at the European Environment Agency urged young people to speak out and convince their governments to make a difference and contribute to a good outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) that is scheduled to take place in Copenhagen on 7-18 December 2009.

Energy is our Future: Design Competition Winners

European Schoolnet and PlasticsEurope are pleased to announce the winners of the Design Competition which has been part of the “Energy is our Future” School Programme in the school year 2008—2009. The competition encouraged teams of students to search for information and propose a solution to one of the four given scenarios that featured a challenge (task). The solutions were expected to suit real life situations connected to the fields of energy efficiency, climate protection and resource efficiency.

Energy Scouts Competition: Winners announced

European Schoolnet and PlasticsEurope are pleased to announce the winners of the Energy Scouts Competition which is part of the “Energy is our Future” school programme. The jury, which was composed of European experts, decided to award three of the best entries.

April’s collective award goes to the Srednja šola tehniških strok Šiška, Slovenia

Valentin Peternel and his students from the Srednja šola tehniških strok Šiška, in Slovenia are the winners of the FuturEnergia collective prize for the month of April 2009. A collective prize consists of 26 iPod shuffle - 25 for students and one for the coordinating teacher.

FuturEnergia Competitions: Deadline extended and more prizes!

Following a number of requests from teachers who need more time to prepare their students to contribute to the current FuturEnergia competitions, we are glad to announce that the competitions’ deadline is extended from 26 April 2009 to 31 May 2009.

March 2009: Latest news from Futurenergia

This is a news selection made by the programme team to inform schools about the latest research outcomes using plastics.

Latest research outcomes involving plastics

In addition to the services and tools it offers, the FuturEnergia school programme also highlights the latest research outcomes using plastics, which have a positive impact on our daily lives.

Bridging Industry and Science Education

In December 2008, PlasticsEurope published an interview with Marc Durando, European Schoolnet Executive Director. The interview focused on the efforts and current strategies of the European industry to make science teaching more attractive in schools.

Plastics, the great opportunity of the future

Thomas Schmidt, a former Olympics Champion at slalom canoe, met ten schools in an online chat with the topic “Plastics, the performance materials”. The participating schools got answers to their questions on the contribution of materials to the performances in sport and why plastics are considered the great opportunity as materials of the future.

Anton de Vries chats with students about plastics, chemistry and climate protection

The FuturEnergia monthly chat sessions were launched by Mr Anton de Vries, PlasticsEurope Vice-President and President of Polymers Division LyondellBasell Industries, on 27 November 2008. Students from all over Europe participated in an online debate that focused on plastics, chemistry and climate protection.

News on latest innovations in plastics

This page features a set of news articles that focus on the latest innovation in plastics.

Youth Parliament Debate: Finals in Brussels

The best young European debaters have won their ticket to participate in the Brussels-based Youth Parliament’s debate to be held in the European Parliament on 10 October 2008. The debate will be organised under the patronage of Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament.

Futurenergia School Programme 2007-2008: Awards Ceremony

German MEP Holger Krahmer brought the Europe-wide FuturEnergia school programme and its competitions to a close by hosting the awards ceremony at the European Commission in Brussels, on 17 September 2008. Commissioner Figel’, responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, the patron of the programme, was represented by John Macdonald, his cabinet spokesman.

News Archive 2007-2008

This section consists of all the news articles that were published on this website during the school year 2007-2008.

News archive 2006-2007

This section groups news articles that were published during the school year 2006-2007. The articles highlight news and events, as well as practice examples on teaching about energy at school. The section also includes reports and feedback from the classes that took part in the chat activities.