Metro Vancouver Close Up – Gamification Gets Results with Planet Protector Environmental Education Program

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Metro Vancouver Close Up logoMaking a game of environmental education is delivering results in Langley. The Planet Protector game show mixes quizzes, activities, and video segments to make learning an engaging experience that has these students eager to share their knowledge.

Making a Game of Environmental Education

It starts with a song and genuine enthusiasm from cheering students at Topham Elementary in the Township of Langley. They’re excited about the interactive Planet Protector Academy video series, a fun, game-show-inspired format designed to teach kids lessons in sustainability. Vanessa LeBourdais is the program’s co-creator.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 5.29.28 PM“The first video, we have Esmeralda the planet protector and her sidekick goober welcome the kids to the planet protector academy, they tell them that they’re apprentices and that they have missions to do and activities to do. Each video is about two minutes long. Then the kids do an activity. We have it all game-ified, so they get points for everything they do.”

“They absolutely love it,” says Debbie Yeo, a teacher at Topham Elementary. “They are so engaged, they are learning so many new things, thinking about how to save fuel, how to take shorter showers. They love this, because it’s got the technology, it’s got the music and the songs and the game show, it’s just really engaging.”

Municipal Funding Supports Program

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 5.27.00 PMToday’s module is about transportation and this week’s mission will be to reduce idling time in their parents’ cars. The program is funded, not by the school board, but by the Township of Langley.

“I’ve got three children and eight grandchildren and you know they go to school and they come home with some great ideas,” notes Township mayor Jack Froese.” It’s planting those seeds and information in their parents minds, and it’s helping to change our habits to be more sustainable, to look after our environment and to conserve energy.”

Kids Teaching Parents

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 5.16.01 PMIt turns out to be an effective way to educate the entire family, not just an individual child, according to Krista Daniszewski, the Solid Waste Coordinator for the Township of Langley.

“I have had numerous people approach me, parents, approach me at events and at schools and they tell me that their children act as the green police in their homes. So I do know the message is getting home to the family from the school.”

Fostering Behaviour Change

“All municipalities right across the country are needing people to change their behaviours, says LeBourdais. “We’re totally thrilled that municipalities like the Township of Langley are onboard.

The planet Protector Academy is currently being used in four provinces across the country, and in six member municipalities in Metro Vancouver.

Watch even more Metro Vancouver videos and our popular seminars such as the Sustainability Breakfasts and Zero Waste Conference. Check out our new and improved Video Gallery with a searchable index of hundreds of videos.

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