By Fernando Gil
Following the 2020 Energy Challenge, our team at SEI’s Energize Schools program was looking for new ways to get students excited about participating in our Earth Day Challenge. We wanted to find an engaging and entertaining way to educate students about environmental issues and their possible solutions. To me, the obvious choice was a video game.
Creating a video game hadn’t been feasible for SEI in the past, but my background in coding and engineering provided the missing pieces to make it a reality. My concept was simple, a 2D platformer (like Super Mario) with levels for different topics we wanted to cover for Earth Day. Named “Duckie’s Adventures: Earth Day,” students play as a duck who uses their knowledge of sustainability to tackle several environmental issues.
Where can I/my students play Duckie’s Adventures?
This game is the first of four challenges in our virtual Earth Day event. Through the Earth Day Challenge, high school students complete four challenges to learn more about waste, water, transportation, air quality, and energy to create a sustainability campaign. They identify and propose solutions to excess resource use and communicate conservation strategies with their families, peers, and community. There are also prizes!
Find more information on the Earth Day Challenge here. Even though the challenge has already started, you can still sign up.
What topics are featured in the game?
There are a total of six levels, one for each of these topics: Greenhouse gases, sustainable transportation, waste, renewable energy, water conservation, and my personal favorite, the air pollution level. Most of the levels are beaten by utilizing a solution or resilience strategy relating to the issue featured, such as recycling in the waste level, turning off the leaky taps in the water conservation level, or protecting the plants from the acid rain in the air pollution level.
Will there be more games like this in the future?
There have been talks about creating a Duckie’s 3D adventure, featuring Duckie’s arch enemy Goosteau. If you’d like to see more eco-inspired educational video games from Energize Schools, go play Duckie’s Adventures and share it with your friends!
The Energize Schools Earth Day Challenges are all available now and students can submit their campaigns up until April 15th to be eligible for prizes.
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The SEI Team
Environmental education and workforce development experts share stories from the field