"We're hoping that this will change their attitudes and behaviors in regard to energy for the rest of their lives."
As the most oil dependent state in the U.S., Hawaii's primary source of energy is imported petroleum. Researchers at the University of Hawaii aim to educate students (and in turn, Hawaii's population) about the challenges that this reliance on fossil fuels will cause for the state over the next 50 years.
In Fall 2011, University of Hawaii faculty launched the Kukui Cup, a residence hall energy competition for 1,000 first year students. The competition uses "gamification" techniques where students learn how to change their own behavior to be more energy efficient and gain access to tools for pursuing energy solutions within the community. The Kukui Cup game offered information about real time power consumption with prizes for meeting energy conservation goals, online "workshops" and excursions to engage with community organizations about Hawaii's energy challenges.
Learn more about the Kukui Cup here.
View University of Hawaii professor, Philip Johnson's presentation about the Kukui Cup and the concept of "gamification" here.
UPDATE: In March 2012, we interviewed Philip Johnson to find out how the Kukui Cup compared with his expectations and about using the gamification method to engage students in climate and energy issues. Johnson expressed that "We're trying to find the right balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators so that participants are encouraged to both check out the challenge and sustain positive changes." Read the full Q&A. (Exclusive for members).
Image is a screenshot from the video.