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HEART Force Drought Game

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder

In this interactive game, students solve challenges that their community faces during the course of an extreme drought event by using available individual and community resources. Students work in three resilience teams to determine the strategies that they will invest in as a community as the drought situation evolves.

This activity takes one 60 minute class period

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This game is designed to be played in a classroom setting after completion of an introductory unit on drought.
  • This game is played in teams of 4-8; larger teams are encouraged to enable robust discussion of multiple viewpoints.
  • Once investments are made, the game progresses through a series of rounds in which a drought event occurs and worsens. As the drought progresses, the communities encounter negative impacts that test the investment choices that each group made.
  • Play can end after any round, but it is recommended to leave time for a brief reflection and discussion session at the end.

About the Content

  • This game is intended to explore the concept of extreme weather events and their effects on human communities.
  • This game provides an activity for exploring how people can prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought on their community and the specific challenges that drought can have on rural areas.
  • Game components such as pie charts encourage exploration of probabilities of different types of drought outcomes, and how those probabilities change as a drought event worsens.
  • This game also requires measuring and removing water from a reservoir (a graduated cylinder) using a pipette.
  • Resource developed in collaboration with expert scientists - no CLEAN expert science review was needed.

About the Pedagogy

  • The activity is a game in which players take on roles of community members and make investments in different actions or structures that will help them be more resilient when drought occurs.
  • This game helps students understand how community members can prepare for and contribute to long-term resilience.
  • Students develop reasoning and negotiating skills as they advocate for the values of their assigned community member persona.
  • This game encourages cooperation and compromise between community members with differing viewpoints on how funds should be invested.
  • This game is part of a larger curricula around drought and can be combined with case-study examples that prepare students to imagine what a drought in their community might look like, as well as providing activities to engage with drought data.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This game requires facilitation by the teacher to ensure that teams understand their roles and are able to compromise to make investments.
  • The game facilitator is also responsible for maintaining progress of the game through rounds of play.
  • Basic play structure is easy, and digital slides are available to walk the facilitator through the rounds.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Entered the Collection: March 2021 Last Reviewed: December 2020

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