Recently, there has been an increased interest in developing renewable energy technologies to reduce global reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Students currently in school will grow up with a greater awareness of this complex issue and they will need a solid knowledge base to help them make informed decisions. The goal of this project was to develop a self-contained, interactive classroom tool that offered students in grades 4-6 a holistic view of sustainable issues. A series of six kits, each on a different sustainable topic, was proposed and one kit was fully developed. This kit contained components that presented information about the geographic relevance of renewable resources in a variety of ways to engage students with different learning styles and needs. By applying principles of graphic design to the support materials and improving and updating the user interaction, the intention of this product was to increase the student’s interest in the subject matter. A series of prototypes were produced and redesigned to improve the functionality and feasibility of the product, and classroom trials were performed to asses the user experience. Revisions were made to eliminate confusion and increase student involvement. Although the main emphasis of this first classroom kit was renewable energy, the design concept could be adapted to a wide range of educational topics to engage all students in the learning process and expand their interest in the world around them.
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