Climate change is real, and not only will it impact us, it will impact every future generation to come. However, considering its importance, climate change is not as relevant as it should be. Despite the many news and journal articles urging for change, many people tend to brush off climate change as "not their problem".
We were inspired by this issue, and wanted to make education on climate change more effective. Currently there is an abundance of information readily available on climate change. However, a tool to gauge the effectiveness of the educational materials has not yet been developed. We created TreeViz with two main uses in mind:
1) Help students in high school better understand the impacts of climate changes through data visualization and quizzes.
2) Help school boards and teachers to improve education on climate change by focusing on what motivates their students.
Using our platform, students will be able to learn about climate change and both its direct and indirect effects on society. Then, by analyzing the user data and interactions on our app, we provide educators with information on which approach was most effective.
How we built it
TreeViz includes a data visualization application in R Shiny App and a mobile quiz written in Java using Android Studio.
On the TreeViz interface, students learn about the intensity, location of the forest fires happened in BC in the past, and how it progressed throughout the years. Instead of providing forecasting visualization on how the next 10 years will look like, TreeViz focuses more relevant and simple context. It comes in different subjects; students will learn about the impact of climate change on health, local communities and the economy. In addition, students have the option to take a quiz to strengthen their understanding of the topic.
At the back-end, TreeViz collects the interaction data from students and perform statistical analyses such as A/B testing to determine which topics within climate change students care about the most. This information is powerful because educators can customize their teaching methods to achieve more effective learning. The more relatable the content is to you, the more likely you will listen and take actions.
Data we used:
Currently, we only focus on the BC data because it is the most relevant to us who live here. But we believe that TreeViz is highly flexible that we can include more national data, more topics or even apply it in different industries.
What's next for TreeViz
We believe that our app is highly flexible that we can include more national data, more topics, or even apply it in different industries.