Clarkson Energy Choices Board Game
The Energy Choices Board Game is an activity used to introduce students to the concept that energy is an important aspect of their lives and to make them understand that they can indeed make personal choices that affect our overall energy situation. The goal of this game is to make energy more relevant to the students so that they are increasingly receptive to more science oriented energy lessons.
Time Required: 40-60 minutes
The game begins as each student selects cards that define their mode of transportation and home design. The players roll dice and move around the board, landing on "choice" or "situation" blocks and selecting cards that describe consumer choices and real life events that impact their energy consumption and annual energy bills. As the players pass gasoline stations or energy bill gates, they must pay annual expenses as defined by their original cards, with amounts altered by the choices they've made along the way. Gasoline cards are collected to represent their total consumption. Too many gas guzzling vehicles can result in total depletion of their gasoline supply - at which point everyone must walk or ride the bus.
The game provides some context for serious classroom discussions about our current energy situation. Discussion points can include:
• How did the choices you made affect how much money you had at the end?
• Which home system wound up with the most money at the end? Why?
• Which car wound up with the most gas cards at the end? What do you know about this type of car? (big, gas guzzler) How did having a lot of gas cards affect the owner's financial state?
• What do you think the carbon tax you paid at the end of the game represents?
• Why did gasoline and home energy prices increase throughout the game?
• Do you think this will be an issue in our own lives?
• Did any teams run out of gasoline cards? What does this represent? Which type of transportation contributed most to the depletion of gasoline cards?
See attached Game Directions for a detailed explanation of student instructions.
Each game will require: - “The Energy Choices Game” Board -Game Pieces/ Pawns -Game Cards -Energy Use Tally Sheets -Calculator -Money
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