Student Use the Solve Ninja Platform to Solve Environmental Problems Through Project-Based Learning

Solve Ninja is a platform by Reap Benefits from India that activates students to solve small environmental problems that leave a big dent on local communities. The company creates affordable and quantifiable waste, water and energy solutions and engages with students and youth to ensure behavior modification that will allow for sustained change. By educating, empowering and rewarding students to find green solutions, Reap Benefit is making a collective impact towards a better environment.

Reap Benefit uses gamification to deliver 15 sessions that cover topics such as energy, waste, and biodiversity spread over a year.

Gamification is a four-step process:

  1. Discover – the local problem

  2. Investigate – Using a range of assessment tools to collect granular data around issues such as garbage, water, and air-quality

  3. Solve – Devise local solutions using local materials

  4. Communicate – Share the process with the larger world and spread ‘making green a habit’

To give an example of co-creating a solution, when students of a school realized they were consuming more water than they should to wash their hands, they developed an aerator that could control the water flow.

Their school programs include grassroots mobilization through experiential public problem solving that develops 21st century skills in schools, colleges and communities. They also created a technology platform that enables students to collaboratively take action towards solving local problems and supporting local governance and they have organized a Solve Network which consists of people, institutions and organizations who are united behind the mission of activating India’s action-based young citizens.

Although the students develop a real solution to a real problem, the founders, Kuldeep Dantewadia, Gautam Prakash and Kamal Raj, who co-founded Reap Benefit in 2011, claim that “We focus on the process more than the product. The product is a short-term solution. But in the long run, we are developing human capital that will continually find solutions to problems as they arise.”

Reap Benefit has managed to divert 200 tonnes of waste from landfills, saved over 15 lakh liters of water and 63, 000 kWh of energy per annum. They have worked with 110 schools and institutions, as well as 30 corporations.