Fighting climate change can feel terrifying for plenty of adults. But 17-year-old Rayan Krishnan turned it into a game — literally. Along with fellow students at Redmond’s Tesla STEM High School, he created Operation Sustain, a video game that teaches kids about climate change.
Players start the game in an empty world in which they can build houses, develop energy sources and grow food. Player choices and actions impact pollution levels, government finances and eventually the happiness of their citizens — and colorful graphics tally progress and points. Along the way, 3rd-5th graders win by learning to think critically about their future and understand how a society’s choices affect the planet over time.
It works so well that the EPA honored the team for their work to protect the environment and promote sustainability in their communities.
Is Katie a better city planner than an 8-year-old? Watch as she pulls the virtual levers of power to find out.