Junkbox, a waste management educational game for preschool kids

Veronica Gizzi, Salvatore Di Dio, Domenico Schillaci

pp. 46 - 56, download






Waste management is becoming an increasingly important issue in contemporary society. The growth in consumption, the increase in urbanization and economic development have as main consequence an increase in the production of waste. Moreover, the population's bad recycling habits are becoming more and more entrenched. In this context, sustainable development has gained considerable importance and the need to teach new generations the value of protecting the environment is key and what through our research we are experimenting is the way of playing. In fact, basic but very significant behaviours can be activated through a game and they may become stable habits and then proper lifestyles.  This paper describes an educational game that might support educators and trainers to raise environmental consciousness in kids.  Starting from several co-design sessions conducted with teachers, children and parents, we elaborated an idea to target the stakeholders’ needs: making the separate collection an enjoyable experience by collectively awarding children after the correct disposal of waste. This idea foresaw a touchpoint finalized to become an integral part of every child's routine during school hours. “Junkbox” thus becomes a vehicle for learning how to recycle and turning waste separation into a game. This ritual helps children to achieve one of the most important goals of recent years: actively contribute to reduce the environmental costs of our bad habits and lifestyles.


Keywords:  Gamification, Educational tool, Green awareness 


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