Trash or treasure: Developing a game for youth about recycling, trash and community health.
TRASH OR TREASURE
Developing a game for youth about recycling, trash and community health.
Tompkins Cortland Community College
Fall 2015 TC3 ANTH 260/HLTH 216
Paul Treadwell, Paula Moore- course instructors
Mary Lacayo – Director of Nursing, Hospital Nuevo Amanecer
Ashley Braman, Brittany Pavlick, Brandi Budinger – TC3
HLTH 216/ANTH 260: 8 week in class+ 2
week service learning in Puerto Cabezas,
Students work in teams to develop health
Projects are delivered with community
partners in Puerto Cabezas
WHERE IS PUERTO
The 2 week service component of HLTH
216/ANTH 260 is based in Puerto Cabezas,
Puerto Cabezas is the capital of the North
Caribbean Autonomous Region of
We work with community partners in
Puerto Cabezas and surrounding rural
Working in consultation with Mary Lacayo –
Director of Nursing at Hospital Nuevo
Amanacer, Puerto Cabezas – a team of
students began investigating community
health issues relevant to communities on
the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua.
Trash was identified as a major issue.
The student team explored methods of
Students created a beach scene using felt.
They also created trash, a garbage and a
Trash was scattered over the beach scene.
Children collected and sorted trash by type.
• The sorting game was field tested in two
• A pop up clinic in Krukira
• A women's shelter in Puerto Cabezas
• A number of challenges were
• Lack of structured scenario for the
• Chaotic clinic environment
• Pre-educational needs
Not unexectedly, this first attempt at
gameful education in a cross-cultural
environment had some bugs.
• Perceptions of what is ‘garbage’ differ
between New York and Nicaragua
• Recycling, especially on the Atlantic
coast, is still a novel and not universal
• Language and translation is always more
complex and subtle than anticipated.
• Results from this preliminary foray into gameful education with youth in a cross-
cultural context have given us a lot to consider.
• Future efforts will require development of stories or scenarios that are culturally
• Facilitating participation is key.
• While our initial experience was a mixed success, the power of games as an
educational pathway was affirmed. Future development will should lead to greater
impact in or efforts.
• The initial ‘Trash or Treasure” game was left in the hands of a Nicaraguan teacher.
Her hope is to make continued use of the product.
• Connecting with others who are engaged in similar work will be beneficial. (this is
generally true, regardless. But it is well worth keeping in mind as we move forward.)
• Reaffirming a playful engagement with learning in cross-cultural contexts is
necessary. And this learning is always bi-directional. Our students learning in
concert with game participants.
CONTACT AND MORE
• Questions or comments?
• Thank you to our students for being so willing to take a risk and accompany us on
• Thanks to our Nicaraguan collaborators, translators and partners on the ground.
Without all of you none of this would be possible.