My Act for Nature was the creation of a local biodiversity-themed game show, inspired by a question I kept asking myself: how can I make learning about our local wildlife fun and engaging?
I decided on this idea as game show formats, like those we see on television, seemed inherently engaging and exciting. I reasoned that having people answer trivia questions in a competitive and interactive setting would make for a memorable learning experience.
Following the research prompts from the What’s up Wildlife? activity, I collated information about several local species, including those found in the BFF logo. I also gathered some information about local wildlife organisations and laws, as well as insights from BFF events I had attended. I created the game show using Google Slides and hosted it for a group of same-age close friends over a Zoom call. Though I failed to collate the points for one of the segments, I converted it into a Google Form quiz for my friends have a re-do. Tallying the points from both the live Zoom session and the Google Form quiz, I was able to rank my friends’ performance and award them prizes accordingly.
What the Game Show Does for Biodiversity
The game show comprised three segments in which participants could earn points:
- Yes-no questions on whether we can find certain animals in the wild in Singapore
- Trivia questions about Singapore’s wildlife scene
- Open-ended questions about rewriting negative news excerpts on Singapore’s wild animals
Though I created the game show with said group of friends in mind, the target audience could be expanded to local youth who may not know much about our biodiversity scene. The first and second segments focused on allowing participants to recognise and learn about the multitude and variety of Singapore’s wildlife. The second segment also covers the do’s and don’ts when encountering wildlife in Singapore. Some of the questions may seem easy to nature enthusiasts, but I believe they were necessary to open my friends’ minds to and pique their interest in Singapore’s biodiversity.
The third segment was inspired by something I’ve learnt from the various Burning Questions Live and external events: many locals may be unreceptive towards our wildlife due to unfortunate past interactions with the animals and others’ negative stories broadcasted by the media. Hence, the third segment was about challenging participants to rethink the way we perceive and portray our wildlife.
The overarching aim and contribution of my AFN is education and awareness about Singapore’s biodiversity and its related issues. When people know more about Singapore’s wildlife and the appropriate way to behave around them, they will hopefully better appreciate the animals and show more support for our local conservation efforts. My friends can also become my second voices to share what they have learnt from the game show with others, allowing education to spread beyond our circle.
One of the prizes I planned for my friends was a donation I would make on their behalf to a local wildlife organisation of their choice. Combining all their prize money, I made a $50 donation to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore. This donation is the more concrete contribution of my AFN to local biodiversity conservation. Hopefully, it will also nudge my friends to do their part in the future as well.
Preparing the questions was an interesting portion of this AFN experience. While researching, I got to learn more about the animals we have (and don’t have) in Singapore, their behaviours, and their relationship with humans. I was exposed to various articles about human-wildlife interactions and conflicts in Singapore, including this article about some Singaporeans surprising Dr Jane Goodall. I found it slightly humorous but also a reminder that wildlife education was still needed in Singapore.
Another interesting aspect was seeing how my friends responded to the game show. I was fortunate to have friends who took the game show seriously and had a strong desire to get the questions correct. It was funny to see them get desperate over questions they could not answer and frustrated when others struggled with the straightforward ones. The most rewarding moments were when they expressed intrigue and revelation at newfound knowledge.
Unfortunately, the game show did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. I had made some mistakes in the slides and overlooked certain parts of the facilitation process. Some friends felt that the third segment needed modification as well. On a positive note, these shortfalls have taught me more about planning and running games, as well as time and people management. I have also gained an experience of facilitating activities virtually, which may be helpful next semester as most classes will be online.
I am grateful to my friends for being very enthusiastic and encouraging about participating in my AFN. Thanks to them, I feel assured that there is value in engaging people through fun means to teach them about biodiversity. Thank you to the BFF Team as well for this unique learning opportunity!
Game Show Materials
You may view the game show slides here.
You may view the Google Form quiz here.