Paul slams $450K grant for climate change video game

Paul slams $450K grant for climate change video game

Republican Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (Ky.) is taking issue with a $450,000 federal grant for a low-budget video game aimed at teaching climate change science to high schoolers. 

Paul, a contender for the GOP presidential nomination, highlighted the 2013 National Science Foundation grant as part of his ongoing “Waste Report,” in which he draws attention to government spending that he finds unnecessary. 


The game is billed as a “futuristic gaming simulation model” to help students “experience and try to cope” with the potential effects of climate change.

“Here’s a prediction: the real science behind this game is psychology and political science,” Paul’s office wrote

The National Science Foundation’s division of research on learning awarded investigators at the University of South Florida $450,000 in 2013 to develop a lesson plan through the game that could be incorporated into marine science classes in Hillsborough County, Fla. Over the years, Republicans have taken issue with a number of grants handed out by the foundation. 

The White House and other advocates have touted games and interactive media as a way to enhance understanding of climate change. President Obama was in Paris on Monday to help launch efforts to reach a new international climate accord.

“The pioneering techniques proposed for this project will advance science education of [global climate change],” according to an abstract of the grant proposal. “It also will deliver new research for instructional technologists and serious game developers regarding effective interface and usability design of intermedia narrative gaming-simulations for education.”

Parts of the game can be played online through iMapBook using the password and code: CHANGE.

The Climate Change Narrative Game Education is mostly text based with a series of challenges using rudimentary graphics, including one in which a player picks the correct conditions for a hurricane. 

According to the abstract, “This exploratory project helps high school students learn complex Global Climate Change (GCC) science by making it personally relevant and understandable."