Govhack 2022 entry for Discovering our region’s environment and biodiversity challenge: How might ACT data encourage children and young people to appreciate and engage with Canberra’s environment and biodiversity?
❔ Problem Statement
As mentioned in the challenge page, the ACT government manages an enormous amount of data relating to Canberra's environment and biodiversity. In the current world state of rapid climate change and increasing ecological challenges, its more important than ever to get children and young people engaged with our environment early on.
The wealth of information available here is vast and rich, but hidden behind rows and tables of a database it does not provide much value to children and young people in it's current state. Furthermore presenting a challenge is the shortening attention span of children and young people due to the increased use of social media, which is making it harder and harder to engage with them.
So we asked ourselves: how can we dig into the data that is available, to find a way such that we are able to grab the interest of children and young people, so that we can get them engaged with the biodiversity Canberra has to offer in a fun and simple manner?
- Engage young people and children to learn more about Canberra's environment and biodiversity
- Create awareness about climate change and the threat it has on the unique flora and fauna Canberra has to offer
- Provide a great family bonding experience at the same time
We'd like to introduce Bluebell. Named after the Royal Bluebell, the ACT's floral emblem, Bluebell is a unique experience for everyone, encouraging participants to explore Canberra's unique bushlands to learn more about the flora and fauna that they share their land with.
✨ Ideology and Gamification
Our approach with the Bluebell experience is to gamify the engagement process for young people and children.
Our approach is to create a list of areas that we would like young people and children to explore and learn from, and by creating a way to track and share their progress, gamify the experience to make it an exciting journey that they can look forward to.
🗺️ 12 Points for Exploration
Using a mix of data from the Canberra Nature Map, Native grasslands of ACT, Threatened Fauna Habitat and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, we have identified 12 points of interests around Canberra with unique biodiversity for exploration.
At each of these points of interest we will install a Bluebell plaque. The plaque will display information about the area and the unique Canberra wildlife that lives in the area, along with a QR code for scanning and a built in embossing tool (more on this below).
📱 Bluebell App
As part of the experience, participants can download the Bluebell mobile app. When they get to one of the 12 locations, they can scan a QR code to check in at the location.
Upon checking in at the location, the app will add a unique location stamp to the user's stamp collection. Each user will be able to see a collection of all stamps they've unlocked or not yet unlocked in their profile. They can also share their progress with their friends.
After checking in, the app will provide the user with more in death information about the area, the threatened wildlife and the impacts climate change has had on the area.
📖 Bluebell Passport
For younger kids, or really anybody who prefers a more tangible experience, they can get a physical stamp collection book for a more fun and memorable experience. We’d like to offer these passports for free as part of a partnered education program, with the option to purchase them at your local post office.
This is where the embossing tool at the plaque comes into play. The built in embossing tool allows users with a physical passport to collect an embossed stamp into their passport, unique to the location they've visited.
We think that embossing was the most unique and sustainable method of marking versus stickers or an inked stamp since it requires the least amount of maintenance while delivering a fantastic and uncommon experience.
We also think that a physical stamp collection book will really be able to grab the attention of young children much easier than an app, and provide them with a souvenir that they'll remember the Bluebell experience for years to come.
We are releasing this code under MIT license and all content under the Creative Commons license.