Charities, Fitness, and Education: Exploring Charitable Giving in Adolescents through a Fitness-Driven Virtual Economy
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This thesis is an exploration of methods to encourage physical activity and philanthropy among adolescents. Dr. Stephen Fickas has developed a virtual economy in which adolescents use personal fitness trackers to record activity; the adolescents are rewarded with virtual coins that they may redeem for rewards and privileges. I have envisioned and outlined an extension of this economy that incorporates charitable giving. Virtual charities will provide opportunities to disadvantaged adolescents within the economy, and the charities will rely on donations from the adolescents. A curriculum I have developed provides foundational knowledge and informational activities for the adolescents. This thesis discusses these concepts and possible outcomes of their implementation.