Interactive climate change tool shows Canadians the results of our actions

Jul 29 2020, 1:00 pm

RBC Tech for Nature¬†is a multi-year, global initiative by the¬†RBC Foundation¬†dedicated to preserving the planet’s greatest wealth — our natural ecosystem. It supports new ideas, technologies, and partnerships to address and solve pressing environmental challenges.

As time goes on, it’s clear that the impact we’re leaving on Earth is concerning — and that we need to educate the next generation so we can work together to protect our planet.

The Anthropocene Education Program, a partnership between The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) and The Anthropocene Project (TAP), is a visually stunning and thought-provoking collection of film, art, and virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR, respectively). The program paints a stark picture of how people have impacted the climate and environment, and was designed to provoke change in the habits of future generations.

The educational program gives teachers across Canada access to state-of-the-art VR, educational short films, online interactive photos, AR experiences, and more, so students can learn about the planet through visually-stimulating content.

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The Anthropocene Project‚Äôs¬†multidisciplinary body of work, created by Canadian artists Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, and Nicholas de Pencier, “investigates human influence on the state, dynamic, and future of the Earth.” The free, bilingual educational program takes stunning visuals from¬†The Anthropocene Project and shows students a sobering depiction of how humans have impacted the environment and planet.

“We are extremely proud to be able to share this suite of resources with today’s students — the future leaders of Canada. The remarkable audiovisuals, and augmented/virtual reality experiences included in this program will empower them to lead the fight against climate change, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss,” said RCGS chief operating officer and publisher Gilles Gagnier.

“With these tools, teachers can encourage students to see global environmental issues as relevant to their own lives since academic content is embedded in the accompanying activities and lessons which are designed to develop an intrinsic interest in learning about the planet and promoting positive action.”

The term “Anthropocene” was introduced in 2000 when it was used by¬†Paul J. Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer, two scientists whose research references the International Geologic Time Scale. The term suggests we are currently living in a new geologic era, characterized by humans being the primary cause of permanent planetary change.

By exposing students to this thought-provoking idea, the program aims to influence change in the next generation. The Anthropocene Education Program includes a curriculum-linked teacher’s guide and lesson plans and will end up in more than 25,000 classrooms across Canada.


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“At RBC, we believe climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. The actions we take today can prepare us with the solutions needed to protect our shared future,” said Valerie Chort, vice president, corporate citizenship at RBC. “We‚Äôre proud to be working with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society to inspire future generations, who will be behind many of the extraordinary innovations powering those solutions.”

The RCGS is one of the largest and oldest organizations of its kind in Canada and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing public awareness for Canadian geography. Through its Canadian Geographic Education program, it is constantly working to make sure classrooms are full of up-to-date geographic education and currently provides learning resources to more than 25,000 educators across the country.

RBC believes that climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time — and that technology and data have the power to transform and improve our world with long-term solutions. That‚Äôs why RBC Tech for Nature is bringing technology experts, the private and public sector, and charitable partners together to work toward solving our shared environmental challenges. Learn more about RBC Tech for Nature on their¬†website.

The initiative is a core pillar of¬†the¬†RBC Climate Blueprint — an enterprise approach to accelerating clean economic growth and supporting clients in the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.

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