On the 2nd July Roamer went to support the Waves of Change Conference, held at The Crystal in London’s Docklands. The conference gathered to promote peace and discuss the issue of water conservation. Roamer engaged around 40 delegates in a Murder Mystery Game, aimed at highlighting the issues of water supply and water pollution. A few days later we visited St Ignatius College, Enfield. Once again Roamer proved adept at prompting adults and students to think about issues our children will face in the future.
You would never buy a robot to do this task, but if you already have a Roamer you can use it to improve the activity. It dramatically shows the problem, and provides an exciting climax when the solutions help the robot get to the sea.
We then came to the hands-on Roamer workshop. We started by showing the video explaining the problem of pollution. We made Roamer into a salmon which, full of vigour started its journey to the sea. As it swam along it kept meeting pollution problems. Each contamination made it lose strength, which made it slow down. Eventually, it stopped dead. It didn’t make it to the ocean.
All Murder Mystery games involve a set of characters. The participants formed teams of 5 each with a role to play and an assigned problem. Characters included business people, scientists, eco-warriors, government officials and politicians. We modelled each character and each pollution challenges on real scenarios. Not all business people were evil capitalist and not all the eco-warriors wore woolly hats. The pollution problems involved forestry, farming, a factory, a marina and a mine. Each group presented and explain their solution to the other groups.
Participants played their roles, debated the issues and tried to find solutions. If they found a way to clean up the mess they could reprogram the Roamer salmon to help it safely reach the ocean.
Interestingly, the solution for the St Ignatius student’s consisted of getting the government to fund developments. The peace delegates found a wider range of solutions. Some, like the marina authority, passed a law which would revoke the rights of consistent offenders to keep their boats on the river. Others wanted to launch research programmes to find scientific solutions. Another solution involved government-backed loans to install clean up equipment.
It was interesting trying to play the role of a polluter whose only interested in making money. It helped me to understand how to negotiate. Just saying I don’t agree and you’re wrong does not work!