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Lee receives NSF grant award to design climate change games

Joey Lee is a Co-principal Investigator for one of six Climate Change Education Partnership-Phase II (CCEP-II) program awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The CCEP-II program will provide $5.65 million in funding over the next five years to Dr. Lee and the rest of the Polar Learning and Responding: PoLAR Climate Change Education Partnership led by Professor Stephanie Pfirman and the Columbia Climate Center with partners from Barnard College, The American Museum of Natural History, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of New Hampshire.  This PoLAR partnership had previously been awarded a $1.2M grant from NSF as part of CCEP Phase I funding to build partnerships and engage in strategic planning for Phase II. With the funding provided by the Phase II award, PoLAR will initiate full-scale implementation of a suite of activities that focus on the public’s fascination with the changing poles to engage adult learners in interactive and novel, game-like educational approaches to climate change education.

Lee’s work in the PoLAR partnership focuses on the design, development and study of innovative game-based approaches to climate change education and to promote real-world action.  EcoImpact Missions was designed and developed as an online social network gamification system that motivates adults to create and share among their peers practical, user-created real-world missions (actionable knowledge) on climate change.  Arctic Hope, a strategy and simulation game, teaches adults and children food web interdependencies and various threats to Arctic ecosystems.

The PoLAR vision uses novel educational methods, which Phase I demonstration activities and learning research show can motivate self discovery, exploration and better understanding of complex material.  PoLAR will look at incorporating these tools into both informal and formal educational settings in an aim to produce transformative development in climate change education.  In Phase II, PoLAR will further research into the efficacy of various approaches and platforms, including current and emerging technologies, based on scientific evidence, learning theory, and education practice as well as with consultation from leaders in the gaming industry, Games for Change.

Link to award details: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1239783

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