Kids Make the Message : Designing an Enabling Platform for Conservation Engagement
Australian conservation organisations are seriously concerned with improving the status of the increasing number of native species that are threatened with extinction. Effective conservation campaigning requires participation and involvement of the community to build deep values of biodiversity. This project investigates how participatory design approaches can be used create an enabling platform for children, schools and environmental education programs to engage with the issues of conserving local endangered species. Developed on the premise that attitudes to, and awareness of, conservation can be elevated by carefully designed learning experiences participants are provided a craft activity to create a 3D paper model representing critically endangered species as an accompaniment to conservation education. This activity generates individual and collective collateral that children and schools can use to conduct a visual campaign via numerous social media channels to petition to government and other stakeholders for positive conservation actions. As children are unable to contribute through normal democratic avenues the campaign dimension of this project aims to provide policy makers and those that can influence change an additional set of voices on the need for much greater efforts in the conservation of our biodiversity: where kids make the message.