Bespoke: Hazardous waste material combiner

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Client: Environment Agency

Date: February 2010

Platform: CD-ROM

Launch case study

Portfolio example 1

Brief:

To explain what happens when certain hazardous waste materials react together. This was to ensure that certain volatile hazardous wastes are not stored together. This would allow Environment Agency officers inspecting hazardous waste sites, to understand the dangers of storing certain waste types together and the advantages of storing other waste types together.


This was a main activity that formed part of a larger hazardous waste training package entitled: ‘Storage, characterisation and treatment of hazardous waste’.

Approach:

As this was an activity that formed part of a larger piece of e-learning, our approach was to make it very engaging and enjoyable to do, but at the same time underline the importance and seriousness of the subject matter.

We examined several graphs and tables of hazardous waste material categorisation and started to build up a picture of which wastes were volatile with each other and which were not. It was important to build an activity that allowed the user to build up knowledge without having to memorise several tables and graphs.

With all of these elements considered, it was proposed that if the trainee could picture what happens visually when two materials were mixed, it would provide a strong and memorable experience that would enhance learning.

Solution:

The solution was based upon the premise that visualising two materials reacting together would provide a memorable learning experience. We suggested that if the user could actually choose, on screen, two hazardous wastes from all of the available options and see what happened when they came into contact, it would not only be engaging and visually memorable, but also a useful reference tool for quickly checking reactions between different hazardous wastes.


The solution was the ‘Hazardous waste material combiner’, a 3d activity that did exactly that. The user could choose from a range of the most common hazardous waste substances, combine them, watch the reaction as a 3d animation and then be provided with a page of feedback, giving them a summary of what they had just witnessed.