UBC researchers develop climate change video game for classroom use

January 15, 2019

Wall Solutions recipient Stephen Sheppard is working with a team of UBC researchers to create a video game for Vancouver high school students that teaches them how their individual choices can minimize the effects of climate change.

They have developed a playable version of Our Future Community (OFC) set in a local neighbourhood, based on Kitsilano Secondary School in Vancouver. Two “quests” are played in the game. The Solar Quest helps students learn what rooftops are best for putting in solar panels and how they can generate renewable energy for their neighbourhood given a fixed budget. In the Urban Forestry Quest students learn why planting trees is a good strategy for climate change adaptation, and how to consider tree species and planting locations to increase the urban forest in their neighbourhood.  Both these quests explain demonstrate to students how they might address climate change targets right in their own community.  The game can be customized for local community solutions.

Researchers have focused on embedding the OFC game into climate change teaching modules for schools. OFC was recently incorporated into the Vancouver School Board (VSB)’s new guide for teachers on climate change, called Your Community, Your Climate. This guide will be launched by the VSB in 2022 as part of the professional development program for teachers.

The OFC launch for schools will run in parallel with Cool Hood Champs, an outreach initiative for community members of all ages to learn about climate change and become neighbourhood champions.  Cool Hood Champs workshops are presented through local community centres.

Please visit CALP web page Our Future Community for more information.