Environmental Digital Stories

As a summer project students were to:

  • choose an environmental issue,
  • create a related digital story of 2 to 5 minutes in length,
  • and include three experimental designs that would help to investigate the issue.

On our course Moodle, Mr Drew provided guidance on how to construct a story using dramatic elements such as the exposition, rising action, crisis, climax, falling action, denouement, and resolution; how to enable its’ telling through digital means, and the criteria for scoring.

Students were also directed to resources to learn about current environmental trends. The IB curriculum focuses only on Global Warming and Climate Change as related to physics, however Mr Drew believed that a broader perspective on environmental issues was a good idea, and used Mark Lynas’ book The God Species, and iTunes U (Imperial College London’s The Grantham Institute on Climate Change).

The Planetary Boundaries proposed by Lynas are:

  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • Nitrogen
  • Land Use
  • Fresh Water
  • Toxics
  • Aerosols
  • Ocean Acidification
  • The Ozone Layer

The story and experimental designs needed to be to do with an issue concerning any of these planetary boundaries. Below are a few screenshots of stories created with their topic. Students had to carry out one of their experiments during the early Fall. A few photos of those experiments are also included.

Note that actual digital stories are not included to respect the privacy of the students. Click on the image for an enlarged version.

Does Knowledge Inspire Change?

The Linkage

This story illustrates the vast amount of environmental knowledge we already know, suggesting that perhaps knowledge isn’t enough and we need to uncover the reason why action isn’t taken. The Linkage explores a man’s journey from the future back to our time where he gets a chance to inspire change and perhaps save his own future.

Story of My World

Saw: The Aircon Trap

A high school student takes us through his city, showing issues that can be improved through simple and inexpensive habit change. A student is trapped in his room during a hot Hong Kong night. He must resist the temptation to turn on his AC or be killed by his captor.

A Near Miss for Humanity

Aerosol Pollution

The story is told as a documentary about the rise in awareness of the ozone layer issue and how it became a success story of global collaboration. In this story, a farmer designs an experiment to convince a local magistrate that his crops are being damaged by aerosol pollution from a nearby factory.

Some Student Experiments

Students test the reflectivity of different colours of liquid to test albedo of differing terrain. Students test reflectivity of different objects to test the albedo of differing terrain.
Students simulate the greenhouse effect. Students investigate radiation from a hot object to a cool one nearby.





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