Enrollment in Earth Science degree courses is declining.  The uptake at ‘A’ Level is declining.  Earth Science has an image problem.  It is seen as the cause of global climate change (fossil fuel industry) and environmental degradation (mineral extraction).  So how do we promote Earth Science in a positive light as part of the solution to a sustainable future, rather than part of the problem?  This is one suggestion as to how we might address the Earth Science image problem, and engage the next generation of Earth Scientists.

Audience:  Youngsters and their curious adult guardians!

Medium:  Smartphone App / Game

Summary:  Create an Earth Science version of “Ingress” or “Pokemon Go!”.  These are smartphone apps that get you out and about in the real world, looking for items to earn points or on missions to achieve objectives.  The games are map-based, collaborative and interactive in the real world.  The gaming platform could be used by teachers to create missions and challenges for students to achieve.

The app could use ROCKD as a basis.  This could be a great way to gamifiy Earth Sciences and get curious kids involved in solving Earth Science problems.

Funding and Production:  development of the ROCKD upgrade requires a significant injection of capital.  But it could create a global phenomenon, so there should be global interest in supporting it.  The sponsors themselves could create all sorts of challenges within the game, to promote themselves.  It just requires a little imagination.  The stakeholders should fund it (industry, higher education, professional associations).

Tell your friends!