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With my tools in hand, I was ready to solve global warming. I wasn’t the only one in this planet-saving race. I had talked my fiancé, Cole, and his roommate, Jay, into accompanying me on my adventure.
No, we didn’t pack our bags to scale large mountains or search the planet for scientific evidence to save the planet. Instead, we huddled around their coffee table playing Cool It!, a new card game developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to teach children about global warming.
This card game for ages 8 and up presents the problems and solutions of global warming in a way young minds can understand. Even though the cards were written by UCS scientist and engineers, the content reaches a younger age with the help of simple facts and pictures.
The actual game is pretty simple and only takes about 10 minutes. Each player has three sector cards (energy, transportation and forest). The goal is to have two solution cards on each. Opponents can cover up your solutions with problem cards. Solutions have blue thermometers in the corners, while problems have red thermometers.
While I am glad children have the chance to learn about global warming, I am not sure how much information children will learn by playing Cool It! unless the children have to read the text on the cards. I would recommend that children be encouraged to read the card each time they lay one down while they play, which is certainly something a parent or teacher could help with. If they do, then great! Children who do will learn the problems and see solutions to global warming.
If not, the game can easily just become a game of replacing red thermometers with blue ones to win. (That is how my game went.)
But for $7.95, I think the game offers a different way to teach children a complex topic. The UCS also had little, playful hands in mind with the design of the cards. The facts are placed on heavy-duty cards that are slightly larger than regular playing cards, tough enough to withstand many planet-saving adventures.
Visit the UCS for more information on Cool It!
Photos courtesy of Union of Concerned Scientists and Pressbound Design