Addressing human-made environmental problems such as deforestation is an ongoing educational challenge. Promising educational approaches include cooperative decision-making and attempt via a high level of motivation to promote pro-environmental behaviors. Knowledge about the forest ecosystem, including its threats, is supposed to strengthen responsibilities and individual behavioral preferences. The “Save the Forests!” module engages students in hands-on learning activities under the frame of an educational Escape Game (Edu Breakout). Based on nine workstations, it includes various cooperative activities focusing on the forest ecosystem, its ecosystem services, and common tree species. Students realize advantages of recycling, gain insight into paper production and associated resource consumption, compare eco-labels for sustainable paper products, and reflect on consumer decisions. Additionally, the students learn about habitat situations after clear-cutting, forest fires, or storm damages (succession), including strategies for dealing with deadwood based on scientific data. Besides experiments and challenging tasks, students learn about the ecological footprint and greenwashing by clarifying often-used terms in sustainability contexts. In an accompanied quantitative study approach, students participating in the learning module significantly increased their knowledge scores in a pre-post comparison (n = 135, p < 0.001, d = 0.58).

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