Climate4Kids – A Gamified App Teaching about Climate Change
Keywords:Digital game-based learning, climate change, gamification, primary school
As per Deterding et al. (2011), gamification can be defined as using game design elements in non-game contexts and it is used to increase motivation and engagement. That is why there are already gamified application to change people’s behavior when it comes to environmental protection. Climate change is a complex topic which is for younger children aged 6 to 10 years quite often too abstract to understand properly. Therefore, a browser-based app is being developed that aims at teaching basics about renewable energy, mobility, greenhouse effect, soil sealing, heat insulation and the like. Using elements of gamification like points, collecting stars, planting trees digitally, a changing background (depending on the progress made) as well as a narration about the protagonist Mani (a groundhog that is affected by climate change) and his friends encourage the children to use the app not only at school but also at home. By telling stories which introduce the topic, the children get a first understanding of how everybody of us affects the environment and what we can do to prevent effects of climate change. Moreover, instructions for easy hands-on experiments are used to make children experience certain effects and/or consequences of climate change. The app seeks to meet children’s emotional needs acknowledging feelings, emphasizing solutions, and encouraging action. The contribution shows how elements of gamification are included in the app to ensure that children are motivated to engage with the topics as well as stay immersed and transfer the learnings into their every-day-life.