On the 5 September 2015, James Suckling and Jaqi Lee from the CLEVER Project went to the Portsmouth Summer Fair to raise awareness about the environmental impact of smartphones. As in the previous post about the Glastonbury Festival, they talked about the life cycle of smartphones and their impact upon the environment. This time, the new version of the CLEVER Project Operation game had its first public outing.
The re-designed game has been built through the funding provided by the CORE Project. It builds upon the original game, which was built for the CORE mini science fair held at Loughborough University last year. It is designed to be more robust and suited to a busy science fair environment. Aside from a metal shell for improved durability, it has been fitted with souped up buzzers, an enhanced graphic of a real smartphone and blue LEDs for extra attention-grabbing appeal. For those who like a little bit of competition, there is also a counter, which marks every time the user sets off the buzzer while trying to extract one of the phone components.
Jaqi and James are very pleased to report that it stood up to the challenge admirably! It was a magnet to children, who did not hold back in playing the game with rapt attention. While they were distracted, we had plenty of opportunity to talk to their parents about the project, and, on occasion, goad them into having a go too!
The only drawback we encountered was that if anything it was too successful. Very young children did not seem to quite grasp the concept of extracting pieces of phone without setting off the buzzer. They happily rummaged around with the tongs while the buzzer sounded solidly. A volume control may need to be a future addition!
James also took the game to Café Scientifique during October 2015.
See the CLEVER Operation Game in Action