Mobile Tour Built in ARIS takes College Students on a Tour of Waste

In February 2013, working with Cathy Middlecamp and two graduate students in the Nelson Institute, and with funding from a Situated Learning award and support from the Office of Sustainability, we developed an ARIS-based mobile campus tour to highlight issues and solutions in Sustainability for a 120-student Environmental Sciences 126 class.

Waste Eliminators is a multi-role tour of seven buildings on campus conveying elements and examples of six aspects of Sustainability (Carbon footprint, Human health, LEED certification, Water, Waste, and Ecology). It was designed to be played by teams of three players, each taking on a role with epistemic “superpowers” — 1) the Engineer who sees through walls to see underlying systems; 2) the Historian who communicates with historical/cultural figures: and 3) the Naturalist who understands ecological systems.

Students head out to find out what happens to waste

In the two-hour class experience, each location focuses on one or two themes, and builds on prior ones. Throughout the game, players photograph and tag campus sustainability challenges and solutions to better understand systems and constraint. Highlights included visiting the boiler room in North Hall to compare the original wood heat with the steam tunnel system that now criss-crosses campus, talking to a banana in the Grainger cafeteria about its carbon footprint (and how tired it is of traveling), and viewing the campus as a system from the top of Van Hise with virtual reality panoramic overlays pointing out various birds-eye views of the power plants, waste plants, etc.

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