Kids in Frisco have a new resource to learn about the environment, recycling and conserving natural resources.
The website, designed by city environmental experts in conjunction with a local interactive firm launched this fall, and will be available to elementary students to use at home after teachers send the website link home.
The colorful, animated website, which features Frisco’s environmental mascot Rufus, invites kids to play computer games and complete activities that teach environmental stewardship. The games and challenges cover a range of activities, including how to recycle, save water, reduce air pollution and find natural alternatives to hazardous products.
All the activities on the website have been designed to dovetail with state science requirements for Texas school children, so the program can help boost awareness and understanding in tandem with the Texas learning standards known as “TEKS.”
“It’s designed to fit into the TEKS as an extra resource,” said Molly Kinson, the environmental education coordinator for Frisco who helped design the website.
Nancy Lawson, director of elementary education for the Frisco Independent School District (FISD), says the games have been approved as a suitable adjunct program for kids and parents to use at home.
“The website has some fun games and some information about recycling on it,” she said, adding that it may help reinforce environmental lessons that are taught in Texas schools.
To spread the word about the new website, Frisco ISD has posted informational posters, said Shana Wortham, communications and community relations for the district.
“We’re always proud that are partners at the city are looking for ways to enrich and support education in the schools,” she said.
Kids who use the program will find games like “Race to Recycle,” a timed event in which kids try to find the right receptacle for recyclables, and learning activities like “Trash Pizza,” a craft project parents and kids can do together.
In Trash Pizza, children use a pizza box to create pizza slices representing various types of trash, metal, plastic, cardboard and so forth. Then they discuss which types can be recycled or composted and which have to be sent to the landfill.
While several of the activities are set up to do together as a family, parents needn’t worry if their children explore the website on their own, because it is a contained environment that does not link out to the Internet, Kinson said.
Some of the activities also help connect families to city events, such as Frisco’s “Clean It and Green It,” the annual local celebration around Earth Day.
The Environmental Education website debuted this fall, and recently was showcased for an assembly of elementary school principals. “They loved it,” Kinson said.
“It’s optional (for teachers), but good for a rainy day, because it’s entertaining too,” Kinson said.
The website was designed by SingleServingMedia Inc.. The local design firm helped create the look of the program and the animation of the interactive games. Graphic artist Joe Miller, who created Rufus, also contributed to the site.