updated: 2019-03-20

The school project VIRTUE is a great way for educators and students to learn about and measure biodiversity of water environments through the accumulation of organisms on CD-shaped discs (biofouling). 


  • Bring real-life context to the curriculum through a Project-Based Learning approach
  • Sparks curiosity - students are excited to solve problems and ask questions
  • Brings extra creativity into your classroom
  • Models ecological field design and the process of research science
  • Informs students about local and global water quality
  • Promotes cross-curricular teacher collaboration
  • Fulfills national curricula


  • Deploy discs in aquatic ecosystems
  • Analyse biofouling organisms using online educational support
  • Share findings with others through VIRTUE´s Database


  • Sign Up to become a member of VIRTUE
  • Check out VIRTUE´s resources

VIRTUE is a school project aimed at stimulating an interest in science among students and also to contribute to further development of teachers. VIRTUE can be adapted to different ages and maturity levels. The younger children are fascinated by what they see and the activity can raise interest in life below the surface. At older ages, VIRTUE can be used as an interdisciplinary approach in biology, mathematics, environmental knowledge, and physics. VIRTUE is also suitable for thematic projects. 

The basic idea is simple: A number of CD-shaped plastic discs are mounted on a rack and placed in different underwater environments during different seasons.

Analysing the growth of organisms on the discs and reporting the findings in a database or on paper enables the students to compare and discuss their results. VIRTUE provides ample opportunity to take an investigative approach to one's work; practice in setting up experiments; carry out measurements in the field, classroom or laboratory; interpret and report on the results.

When the discs are retrieved, the organisms that settled on them are examined, identified and counted. Thus, different aspects of aquatic biology, such as recruitment or biofouling, can be studied. All participants can share their results using VIRTUE’s database and map function.

VIRTUE is based on a simple principle, there is no cost to participate and anyone can join

Become a house builder – Test VIRTUE!

VIRTUE is much more than just a science-based school project. Maybe it is a way to become a house builder?

"Many young people are looking for their own homes - somewhere where you can feel at home. But it's not just young people who are looking, many animals and plants in our oceans and lakes are searching for a surface to establish themselves, preferably near the beach. But the vacancies are few and a young home-seeker is not alone – the competition is fierce.

Let students in school become builders and landlords, who can offer free accommodation in small but well-planned five-story houses to organisms in the sea and lakes. Students study and then describe who moves in, when occupation occurs, how they live, who may become lodgers and more”.

Suggested questions in VIRTUE 

Go deep down with VIRTUE! (A short video introduction to VIRTUE)