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Open AccessArticle

Black Soldier Fly School Workshops as Means to Promote Circular Economy and Environmental Awareness

1
Department of Biotechnology & Food Engineering, MCI—The Entrepreneurial School, Maximilianstraße 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 25d, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
3
Department of Subject-Specific Education, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52d, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
4
Department of Sociology, University of Innsbruck, Universitätsstraße 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9574; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229574
Received: 19 October 2020 / Revised: 13 November 2020 / Accepted: 14 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Citizenship and Education)
Today, insect applications for food and feed are of strong economic, ecological and social interest. Despite their tremendous potential, insects still elicit negative associations in the mindset of Western consumers, which is attributed to a lack of knowledge and scarce opportunities for engagement in this topic. The citizen science project ‘six-legged livestock’ aims to increase the potential of the insect Hermetia illucens (black soldier fly), merging the topics ‘waste re-valorisation’ and ‘protein production’ as a cross-link to circular economy. Workshops were held in four school classes, involving 89 pupils, aged 15 to 18 years old. Making use of organic wastes, participating school classes ran eight rearing systems containing a total of 1800 H. illucens larvae. In the four-week experiments, the pupils monitored larval growth and development. Evidently, the pupils were highly motivated to run their rearing systems and fulfil their working tasks. Furthermore, negative associations with insects, including phobia and scepticism decreased, while excitement for the topic increased after hands-on work with the insects. The presented project may be considered an innovative approach paving the way for the establishment of insects as an important educational tool, since they are still underrepresented in scholarly curricula, despite the public outrage over insect decline. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hermetia illucens; black soldier fly; insect biotechnology; waste valorisation; citizen science Hermetia illucens; black soldier fly; insect biotechnology; waste valorisation; citizen science
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MDPI and ACS Style

Walter, A.; Klammsteiner, T.; Gassner, M.; Heussler, C.D.; Kapelari, S.; Schermer, M.; Insam, H. Black Soldier Fly School Workshops as Means to Promote Circular Economy and Environmental Awareness. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9574. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229574

AMA Style

Walter A, Klammsteiner T, Gassner M, Heussler CD, Kapelari S, Schermer M, Insam H. Black Soldier Fly School Workshops as Means to Promote Circular Economy and Environmental Awareness. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9574. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229574

Chicago/Turabian Style

Walter, Andreas; Klammsteiner, Thomas; Gassner, Magdalena; Heussler, Carina D.; Kapelari, Suzanne; Schermer, Markus; Insam, Heribert. 2020. "Black Soldier Fly School Workshops as Means to Promote Circular Economy and Environmental Awareness" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9574. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229574

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