Singapore, 10 November 2009 – Leveraging on new social media platforms and taking advantage of the popularity of computer gaming, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has developed an internet-based game, termed “Operation M.A.C.E” (Monster Annihilation and Control Enforcement). This is a first-of-its-kind outreach programme that promotes dengue awareness among the young and the internet savvy. Operation M.A.C.E was launched today at the annual Clean & Green Singapore (CGS) Schools’ Carnival by Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor.
Operation M.A.C.E builds upon a story that is set in a futuristic Singapore that has been invaded by a race of aliens resembling Aedes mosquitoes. Known as Mosqueros, they invade planets for food and breeding sources. To deal with this threat, a M.A.C.E agency is set up where M.A.C.E agents are sent out to eliminate the monsters by depriving them of food sources and sweeping out all possible breeding grounds. The agents have a character of their own and represent the programme’s mascots to promote greater awareness of dengue prevention. The programme was developed by NEA together with youth partners who saw its potential in helping NEA promote its messages more effectively.
To play the game, Internet users can log on to www.macecommand.com.sg and sign up as M.A.C.E agents. NEA hopes that through such role-playing games, the youth will be more engaged and internalize the dengue prevention messages. In turn, they can help to remind their parents and family members to take action in preventing mosquito breeding.
Users will also be able to download videos, wallpapers, screensavers, web and mobile games from the Operation M.A.C.E website, as well as view action-packed video trailers on platforms such as YouTube.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive Officer of NEA, said, “Operation M.A.C.E is NEA’s attempt to leverage on new social media platforms and the internet to reach out to younger segments of the community who are more savvy with IT. Through the programme, we have created a virtual world where we can publicise some of our community messages in the story settings to enhance our outreach efforts.”
Clean and Green Singapore – Schools’ Carnival
This year’s Schools’ Carnival was held at Anchor Green Primary School, marking the first time that a school is hosting the event on its premises. Anchor Green Primary School is very active in environmental activities and has partnered NEA in various environment events such as hosting a tree-planting event to offset the carbon emissions for the 2008 Youth Eco-Concert, co-organising capacity building workshops for primary schools and adopting the Sungei Punggol as part of their Community Involvement Programme.
A total of 210 schools participated in this year's Schools' Carnival, an increase of more than 130% since its inauguration in 2003. The Carnival was held on 10 - 11 November 2009, and showcased projects by students who participated in the Environment Project Competition, under NEA's Corporate And School Partnership (CASP) Programme. Some of the winning projects included :
a) Lakeside Primary School - 1st prize (Primary School Category)
The project explores the feasibility of recycling fruit and vegetable waste produced by the school canteen into enzyme-based detergents and air fresheners.
b) Raffles Institution - 1st Prize (Secondary School Category)
The project investigates the feasibility of using an insect growth regulator to control cockroach populations as opposed to using pesticides. Preliminary results show that the growth inhibitor has some effect on the cockroach population.
Other highlights of the Schools' Carnival included the launch of the Resource Conservation Badge*, Environmental Dance Floor Competition, Living aRRRt from Urban Waste Competition and the Mr & Miss Teen Earth Competition and Environmental Fashion Show Competition.
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Factsheet on the Resource Conservation (RC) Badge
§ The RC Badge programme was developed to complement the current Public Health Badge programme, which was introduced in 2003.
§ The programme is opened to the four uniform groups in Singapore – namely the Singapore Scouts Association (SSA), Girl Guides Singapore (GGS), Girls Brigade (GB), and Boys Brigade (BB).
§ The RC badge consists of two merit badges – the 3R Badge, which covers waste management and 3Rs, and the Energy Efficient Badge, which covers energy efficiency and conservation. Uniform group members have to obtain both merit badges in order to qualify for the RC Badge.
§ For the 3R Badge, uniform group members are to attend a lecture on 3Rs and complete two projects listed in the booklet within two months after attending the lectures. They have to share their knowledge and practices with their course mates or classmates. They will also be required to share their project process and findings.
§ The Energy Efficient Badge will focus on how the uniform group members can be energy efficient ambassadors in their homes. They will be engaged in hands-on activities and creative projects, and will learn some of the daily habits that they can adopt to help bring down their electricity consumption. Not only will this benefit the environment, the uniform group members will also understand that it will help reduce their households’ electricity costs.
§ Chief Commissioner of the Singapore Scout Association, Mr Tan Cheng Kiong, launched the RC Badge at the CGS Schools’ Carnival on 11 Nov 2009.