Protect Your Beach!

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Hong Kong has maintained an excellent water quality despite its continuous population growth. However, Hong Kong’s water faced threats in the last few decades. The largest source of Hong Kong’s water, the Dongjiang River, is threatened by pollution. China’s ban on global waste imports gave more burden on Hong Kong to protect the environment. Despite the worsening environmental issue, Hong Kong people are busy solving other social conflicts such as poverty and livelihood issues.

Through ‘Hong Kong Water Protector’, I wanted to help Hong Kongers to get engaged with this issue and highlight the need for sustainable development for Hong Kong’s water. Yet, adults have more urgent social conflicts as mentioned above. Therefore, I decided to start with the future generations - kids in Hong Kong.

For the sustainable development of Hong Kong, I created a behavior-centered design. My project, ‘Protect Your Beach!’ is an educational board game that Hong Kong youths can interact and learn from each other. Each player must protect a beach from pollution. To protect their beaches, they need to answer the questions about environmental pollution and environmental conservation. To defend against threats to their beaches, they need to bring up a corresponding solution for water pollution by thinking critically. By playing this board game, players can learn about the causes of pollution and actions that they can take for the environment.

Primary school students in South Korea played this board game for idea testing. While they were playing the game, they shared their thoughts and possible solutions for water pollution while playing the game. They empathized with marine animals. After the game, they went out to take a small action. It was very impressive to see immediate changes in children’s thoughts because their behavior differed a lot from adults who focused on giving feedback about the board game in my first testing. They were more interested in issues with water pollution than adults are. They empathized with the ocean more than adults do. They were more enthusiastic to do something for the environment than adults are. ‘Protect Your Beach!’ motivated South Korean children to start a butterfly effect for the environment.

Despite the potential of its influence, the design has been updated with some improvements. I got some feedback from others. Firstly, more open-end questions about water pollution are needed. Secondly, a clear guidelines for players and the instructor are necessary.

After getting feedback from others, I could add more elements to the board game design.

  1. Open-end questions uploaded on Quizlet
  2. Clearer guidelines for teachers and players

Now, a prototype is already completed with more diverse questions and clearer guidelines for both the instructors and players.

I hope my design could be a turning point for Hong Kong youths, who are busy studying, to realize the need for environmental protection and give a start to a big change.