While Saugus High School senior Sophia Celi knows she can’t immediately change the entire world, she’s working to change “little worlds,” such as the community in which she resides.
After watching “Seaspiracy,” a documentary about the commercial fishing industry, Celi said it opened her eyes to her true passion for the environment.
She soon found herself diving into deeper research on climate change and began to think of ways she could inform others of the problem at hand.
Then, with the help of Bijaya Manandhar, Nathan Lee, Ryan Yahata, Nate Groves, Ashley Kim and Jenny Onegle, they came up with an interactive learning experience via an escape room.
Called “Tactically Framed” to describe the theory where focuses are shifted from the actual issue to a strategy or political ploy, according to Celi, the escape room was a way to engage her peers and educate them on the issue of climate change.
The room, Celi said, “would truly mimic our escape out of the world of misinformation on climate change… (while teaching participants) how to deconstruct misinformation.”
Each room focused on a different issue affecting climate change, such as consumers, big business, American exceptionalism and religion, moving up through the system.
Participants learned that while each facet had a role to play, not one could tackle the issue alone and that while there were issues at each level, the real problem lies within the system, according to Celi.
The research was on display in each room, allowing participants to see the data behind each concept, as they worked their way through each room’s problems.
During the event, Celi interviewed a group of participants and was happy to hear their feedback and that their reactions had shifted.
“They saw that it was more than just science and fighting climate change. They saw that there were different efforts that needed to be made… You have to actively fight against climate change in order for it to stop,” Celi said, noting that even her family members who participated saw the urgency of the matter.
Celi saw the success of her event as her first step toward changing the “little world” of the Santa Clarita Valley, adding, “Even though it stayed in this one little venue, I feel like I was able to change the notion of some people within this town, and I think that’s what’s most important is changing little worlds rather than the (whole) world.”