Gaming in the Classroom

Wednesday 1:30pm-4:00pm Science Village 10
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Ander Sundell, College of Western Idaho
Natalie Bursztyn, The University of Montana-Missoula

Tabletop Boardgames are currently experiencing a golden age not seen since the 1980s, with sales increasing more than 20% from spring 2019 to 2022. Currently, there are thousands of new games released each year with themes ranging from; quilting, bird collecting, farming, zombie invasion, or even climate change. Many educators have seen that in a classroom setting, tabletop games can be some of the most interactive and engaging ways to explore a concept as well as strengthen problem-solving and team-building skills. In this workshop, participants will learn about current geoscience-themed tabletop games, explore strategies for using them in the classroom, and can get some time to play a selection of games.

Are you planning on attending this workshop and willing to be a designated game helper? This job involves being a game leader; we will prepare you in advance with game rules and ask you to help facilitate gameplay during the workshop. Contact Ander or Natalie if you are interested, we appreciate you!


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Explore a variety of board games that can be used in the Earth science classroom
  • Create an action plan for integrating one or more board game(s) in their teaching
  • Access and gain experience with board games that facilitate integrating play and strategy into Earth science teaching
  • Become part of a network of educators interested in using games for teaching


1:30 Welcome and introductions

1:40 Round 1: "Generate" gameplay.

2:10 Participants develop and discuss goals of integrating gameplay into teaching based on the "Generate" experience

2:20 Break

2:30 Round 2: Experience other games with integrated game helpers; different games at different tables

  • One Earth
  • Erosion
  • Mineral Supertrumps
  • Taphonomy
  • Holotype

3:00 Round 3: Rotate tables and experience a different game

3:30 Participants work on action plans with resources provided by the workshop

3:45 Wrap-up and workshop evaluation

4:00 Adjourn


Print and play Games (free)


               Taphonomy: Dead and Fossilized

               Mineral Supertrumps

               Erosion BGG Erosion page 

  • Erosion game resources: 
    • rules Erosion_English_Living_Rules_(10-3-09).pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 162kB Jun15 23)
    • Natalie's lab exercise Lab 1.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Jun15 23)


Commercial Games (not free)

               Holotype BGG Holotype page 

               One Earth BGG One Earth Page 



               Rising Waters