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Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers Badge


Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers Digital Learning Badge Snapshot

The Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers badging system will help participants learn about and become advocates for wildlife and wild places and engage children in nature-based explorations.

Based on the Wilderness Explorers organization featured in the Disney-Pixar movie UP, the digital Wilderness Explorers badges would be presented in levels matched to life science curriculum standards, level of difficulty/exertion, and degree of engagement (which might be measured in number of badges earned, active mentoring, problem solving, successful community involvement or other metrics).

Learning Goals:

  • Life science curriculum focusing on wildlife or exotic species, native species, animal and plant biology and ecosystems
  • Social science curriculum exploring how various cultures represent animals in art and music and storytelling
  • Focus on endangered species 
  • Connects online learning to real world/community (school and neighborhood) activism
  • Includes dynamic content on the richness of our world, from exotic creatures to diversity of cultures and cultural traditions

Skills and Competencies:

  • A Wilderness Explorer is deeply interested in understanding and experiencing the natural world
  • At higher levels, Wilderness Explorers should not only be learning about conservation issues but should themselves become teachers and ambassadors, and change makers.  The badge should ideally provide opportunities for Wilderness Explorers to make real connections in their communities that promote conservation and appreciation of natural resources.

Game Play:

The game should have two related modes of play:  classroom/group and individual.  Every player will belong to a virtual “troop” (a classroom or school could be its own troop) and each troop will include members of varying levels who move from learner to mentor to leader as they develop competencies.  Each player earns badges by demonstrating mastery mapped to core curriculum standards.  Teachers and parents will be able to log on to authenticate each Wilderness Explorer’s achievements.

The game narrative is driven by the Wilderness Explorer’s Handbook, a virtual manual that includes helpful information, project ideas and, of course, badging requirements.  The handbook also provides a virtual scrapbook space to post photos, record results, post and view videos and choose challenges.   Every badge contains multiple levels, and each level includes two kinds of interactions:  a chance to learn (generally a game or online activity), and a chance to do (generally a real-world activity).

 A sample handbook chapter might be:

Turtle Badge

Level 1:  Egg.  Focus on species knowledge, such as differentiating turtles from tortoises and reptiles from mammals, understanding life cycles, and identifying biological needs - especially as related to habitat.   

Level 2:  Hatchling.  Discovering how sea turtles have been represented across various cultures in song, dance, art and storytelling by means of both experiencing, and creating content

Level 3:  Swimmer.   Learning about habitat and resource needs.  Focus on food chain, ocean currents, pollution, and other environmental factors that are critical to turtles.

Level 4:  Elder.  Explore threats to turtles and develop actions and advocacy on their behalf.

The turtle badge challenge is an example only; actual badge content matched to curriculum objectives and to real world projects will be provided to the development team.

Sample Badges from Russell’s Sash

Types of online games supporting the badge challenges might include:

  • virtual safaris
  • story engines for cultural exploration/creation
  • food chain and ecosystem games
  • migration/navigation challenges and real-time species tracking

Types of real world activities might include:

  • GPS driven projects (ideally phone capable)
  • community service (educating, petitioning, working, fundraising)
  • school projects
  • filing video reports or other UGC challenges

As Wilderness Explorers level up, they will become mentors and eventually troop leaders.  At the highest level, they will be awarded with a unique opportunity or privilege by The Walt Disney Company, TBD.

Tone of Badge:

  • celebrates an adventuring spirit, a gratefulness for the riches of the natural world and a commitment to protecting and promoting wildlife and wild places right down to the “tiny mole”
  • respects and supports the learner as powerful, capable and a key change maker on behalf of threatened places and species
  • The experience of game play should be exciting, challenging and filled with the spirit of adventure

Branding:  Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers.  Disney controls use of name, images, assets and any franchise  or IP elements.  Specific branding and visual assets will be provided.

Development Considerations: Multi-platform interactivity developed in HTML5.  

Creative Considerations:  The Wilderness Explorers Badging System will not include any characters from the Disney-Pixar film Up, although it should capture the personality and visual identity of the movie.  In the game narrative, Wilderness Explorers is a “real” organization, and each player’s handbook should record his (or her) own story and adventure – not Russell’s.  The following piece of art is provided for handbook inspiration only; it is not intended for use within your proposal.  In addition to any Pixar assets, live action video footage of animals and habitats will be provided as needed for use in virtual safaris or other game elements.  You will need to build adequate time into your production schedule for Pixar approvals at every creative milestone.

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