Help the Pengwin! // Climate Change Exhibition

(Reflection questions are answered lower in the post!)

For our last project in Science 10, we incorporated a Design-Engineering element. My climate change issue is penguin extinction due to carbon emissions increasing the Earth’s surface temperature. My design component was an Event – specifically a middle school booth with an interactive game that helps students learn about the issue in a creative way. I have included event details into this post, as well as close-ups of the actual game. The game occurs on a lifesize-penguin cutout. There are 11 questions pinned to the penguin, and the goal is for an individual to pick six and answer them correctly. Through the game, kids gain an understanding of the issue as the questions hit directly on the topic. After playing the game, students scan a QR code that leads them to a flyer (guide to reducing your carbon footprint with links to organizations that provide more hands-on solutions), receive a sticker, and a small, plush penguin if they win at the game.

Design and Media Links:

LifeSize Penguin Game (Event/Design) – Penguin Game Photos

Prezi Presentation (Media) – Explains all data and scientific reasoning

Flyer for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint (Media)

Help the Peng-win! Sticker (Media)

Event Details (Additional Flowchart)


Reflection Questions: 

Now that it’s over, what are my first thoughts about this overall project? Are they mostly positive or negative? Be specific 

I would say that I am very happy I did this project. The effort and time that I spent has made me feel accomplished. Preparing a campaign is definitely not easy, carrying it out all over the world takes a lot of connections, work, and passion. This small contribution that I made (to help more people understand the topic) made me feel like I was a part of something bigger, that I could actually help do something about climate change instead of just talking about it. If I were to join a fundraiser/activist group in the future, (which I want to do at some point), I have climbed the first mountain.

2. What were some of the most interesting discoveries I made while working on this project? About the problem? About myself? 

I realized that many other species are in danger from the global temperature increasing. The climate change problem is a scary one, and it’s terrifying to know that if people don’t invest into changing the current situation, then the repercussions are awful. I have understood that, as an individual who has the power to do something, I need to keep my carbon footprint in mind throughout my life. I used to keep the air conditioning on at full-blast and forget about switching off appliances, but I have realized that this has to stop.

3. What were some of my most challenging moments and what made them so? 

Sometimes the work would overwhelm me. I had many different medias that I wanted to do, and little time to do them with full focus. Finishing the Prezi and the Game were the heaviest in bulk to finish. I often strayed from those and just finished the little parts like the stickers and event details. As the days progressed, however, I felt the pressure and steered myself on the right track.

4. What were some of my most powerful learning moments and what made them so? 

Unconventional for a Science Project, my powerful learning moment came from trying to get multiple flyers to print. I had realized that I didn’t specify that I needed multiple (20-30) flyers to give out about carbon footprint, but had only sent one to the teachers to print off. Fixing this was a bit of a struggle. I had realized that it’s a bit counterproductive to print off the ways to save the environment as it adds to the large amounts of paper and supplies going to waste and polluting the environment. I decided to look for an alternative, and found after searching, found a platform which helps readers scan a QR code that automatically sends the desired file in PDF form to their screen. It was a creative way to overcome the problem — and I am happy that it might help further projects.

5. What is the most important thing I learned personally?

I think for these type of projects, being truly passionate about the issue, helps you put a lot of effort into it and make the product the best version possible. This extends to other subjects — doing what I like makes it seem less of a project for a grade, and instead a personal project that means something more.

6. What most got in the way of my progress, if anything?

As there were multiple medias, I sometimes struggled with keeping all of them in check. There were multiple errands I would have to run for each of them, and it got a bit confusing. For further reference, I think I should create a solid plan/schedule that helps me keep myself in check.

7. What did I learn were my greatest strengths? My biggest areas for improvement?

I haven’t presented in an exhibition type event for a long while. I think that one of my strengths is not having to rehearse what I am going to say in a presentation, and instead being spontaneous about it. I assess what I have to say to the person depending on the situation, who they are, and what part of my campaign would appeal to them the most. Having that social intelligence — not having to rehearse or plan every encounter — is important. I think an improvement would be to cite more data during my presentation, as it displays credibility.

9. What would I do differently if I were to approach the same problem again?

Working in a team might have been easier. The booth had two parts to it — the one that appealed to the children and another to the adults. I often had to direct my attention to the children, but I would have liked it if I could have explained the scientific reasoning, my data, and overall why I chose to do this topic.

10. What moments was I most proud of my efforts?

The rush of children coming to my booth made me feel proud. It showed me that I hit my target audience for the event pretty well. Every time I finished one of the parts of the campaign felt also rewarding as I was happy with how each media looked after I invested in it.

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