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1b. Pre-Conference - Interactive Simulations

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Description

Talk with students about how interactive simulations and games can help model the complex interrelation of variables underlying climate change. Introduce the three simulations, and invite students to consider the questions paired with each. Ask each student to play two of the three simulations as homework.

1. Ecological Footprint Calculator - Link

This tool allows students to calculate their ecological footprint, based on their lifestyle and the part of the world they live in. Tell students to pick a city that is comparable to theirs (We apologize if your city is not included. This is the most comprehensive tool we could find but it still only had a dozen cities. )

  1. What part of your ecological footprint most surprised you?
  2. How did your footprint compare to your city’s average (if available) and your country’s average?
  3. Find a location with a smaller carbon footprint from yours, within your own country if possible. What is different about this community from your own? What can you learn from this?
  4. What parts of your footprint do you feel is possible to reduce? What parts don’t?
  5. Read this article about large companies, individual actions, and climate change: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/just-90-companies-are-blame-most-climate-change-carbon-accountant-says. What do you think are the limits and possibilities in affecting climate change by the reduction of individual footprints?

2. Climate Challenge - Link

This small game challenges players to manage a European country’s response to climate change through various policies, while also trying to convince other nations to reduce their own CO2 emissions.

  1. What strategy did you take in Climate Challenge? Was it effective in reducing emissions?
  2. What did you think of how the strategy cards represented resources? Do you think some of the strategies/policies would have different impacts than the ones shown in the game?
  3. How did you approach international negotiations? Was it better to lead by example, or attempt to encourage other nations by investing in their green economies?

3. Water Footprint Calculator - Link (Global North Schools), Link (Global South Schools)

This tool allows students to calculate their water footprint, based on their lifestyle and the part of the world they live in. Tell students to pick a city that is comparable to theirs (only a few cities are included).

  1. Where you surprised by how much water you consumed?
  2. How did your footprint compare to your country’s and the world's average? (You will need to research this.)
  3. What parts of your footprint do you feel is possible to reduce? What parts don’t?
  4. Do some research on a water-based conflict in your country. Which communities have access to water, which ones don’t, and who controls the resource use?


Task

Blog post:

Have students work in groups to write a blog post reflecting on the two simulations they played, answering these three questions:

  • How do these simulations relate to your community? Do any of them feel irrelevant to your context?
  • How do these simulations help you (or not help you) find your place in combatting climate change?
  • Have these simulations changed how you think climate change should be tackled?

Once it is complete, please post your blog here.

Reminders:


Although students are encouraged to work in groups to write their blog, each student is encouraged to post on at least two of their peers' blogs. (When posting your blogs, be sure to list the title as Country: Blog Name. For example, Canada: My Ecological Footprint)


Blog posts and commentary that students make will be used in the final product. Be sure to have clear, concise, and well thought out responses to one another and to the questions being asked.


Learning Objectives

here


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