Changes in the climate and the environment are largely consequences of human influences. Resources are given to teach adults about the environment. However, there are problems in focusing on adults because it is difficult to influence people when they already have created a lifestyle. We have instead chosen to focus on teaching children about changes in the climate and the consequences of this.
Many of the toys available on the market today encourage children to consume. Luxury cars and dolls with hundreds of accessories are often made of materials that has have a negative effect on the environment.
Another problem we often encountered during the year is the declining interest in technology and science. According to Department of Education, the number of students that began studying at engineering programs at university decreased by 30 percent from 2001 to 2007. Our market research also shows that primary teachers often have a lack of knowledge and insecurity in the field of technology.
We wanted to develop a product that will raise awareness about the environment while stimulating interest in technology and science. Ideally this would be done through physical activity in the outdoor environment. We wanted the product to be equally appealing to boys as well as girls and could be used by several children at once. In addition to this, the product would not be consuming in itself and could instead be used for many years by children of different ages. So with the children and the need for this sort of product in focus we have created the concept Boleko.
Boleko includes an environmental-friendly playhouse with several exciting and fun features that aim to increase interest in science and technology. As a supplement to the playhouse there are introductory stories and explanatory texts. The playhouse has been built of materials carefully selected to have a low environmental impact. It is designed as a zero energy house, which means that no heating system is required even though the playhouse can be used through out the whole year. The electricity in the playhouse only comes from renewable energy sources and generates energy for the amusing features inside. Thanks to Boleko concepts such as energy, magnetism, friction, gravity, light reflection, mathematics and mechanics become real in an inspiring way and stimulate interest in science and technology.
Children of different ages with different backgrounds have been involved during the process and they have tested Boleko. They have given us good feedback which we have had tremendous benefit of. About twenty companies and organisations have been involved in the development process. Since they believed strongly in our product, they have offered support in terms of service, materials and additional funding.
We are extremely proud to have developed a product and a concept that meet all of our demands. Boleko is right in time, it has a good purpose, can generate good profits and contribute to a sustainable development.
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