Challenge and Persuade card game
keywords: energy, water, climate, environment, technology, policy
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
The For Educators section of the supporting website (http://isenm.org/games-for-learning/for-educators) has sections explaining how game play aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Curriculum, and the National Research Council's Strands of Science Learning.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
All processes for generating energy require consumption of water, for some processes enormous quantities. It takes water to get energy. The inverse is also true: it takes energy to get water. It takes energy to move water from where it is stored to where it is needed. An exponential increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels is causing a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth. But the response of the climate system to an overall warming is exceedingly complex. Changes in atmospheric circulation patterns due to global warming are altering weather patterns and changing the distribution of water on the planet. The frequency of certain extreme weather events is on the rise. Some areas are experiencing prolonged heat waves—and associated drought—while other areas are experiencing torrential rainfall—and associated catastrophic flooding. Such climate-related events alter availability of water and impact energy supplies and demand. In addition to the primary concept, students learn about the many manifestations of the Nexus via the Challenge cards.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
Challenge and Persuade involves two card decks, the first containing a set of adjectives, the second containing a series of facts, each in some way related to the inter-dependency of energy, water, and climate. Players take turns being the "Judge," who calls out the adjective on a drawn card. Other players must make up an argument based on information in three drawn "fact" cards and using the adjective. Other players may vigorously challenge the argument. The player with the best argument as determined by the Judge wins the round. Then the role of Judge rotates to another player. The first player to win three rounds wins the game. This game can become quite riotous.
Examples of the adjectives called out by the Judge via the Challenge cards are: Awesome, Lucrative, Practical, Catastrophic. "Facts" on the "Methane Capture" Persuade card are, "Methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2, but lasts half as long in the atmosphere," " Big sources of methane release are the belches, gas, and poop of farm animals, landfills, and leaky gas wells," and "Capturing methane before it gets into the atmosphere helps reduce the effects of climate change." "Facts" on the "Algae Biofuel" Persuade card are, "Algae biofuel can be grown in wastewater," "Algae biofuel could provide up to 40% of U.S. transportation fuel," "Algae can potentially produce 100 times more oil per acre than any other biofuel crop," and "Algae biofuel needs technological advances before it can be sustainably produced."
Challenge and Persuade and a companion Nexus-based game, Thirst for Power, are backed by a website, http://isenm.org/games-for-learning. In addition to descriptions of the games, the website contains sections on guidance for instructors, an extensive set of relevant Resources, and a page titled "What is the Nexus?" The games are commercially available at modest cost via the website, with a significant discount for educational organizations..
The boxed game is all that is needed for this activity. Each box contains the basic rules for game play; a section of the website contains a somewhat more elaborate explanation of the rules. An instructor might want to assign a selection of readings from the Resources section of the website (http://isenm.org/games-for-learning/nexus-resources) in advance of game play. A single game can accommodate 3-6 players.
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
- Focus on the Nexus http://isenm.org/8-games-for-learning/32-focus-on-the-nexus is a selection of readings that convey the overall concept that society's energy demand, its consumption of water resources, and the challenge of climate change are tightly intertwined.
- The Big Picture http://isenm.org/8-games-for-learning/33-overview-synthesis-reports These resources provide perspective and a broad overview on options for addressing society's energy needs, water resources supply and demand, and drivers of climate change.
- The Nexus Today http://isenm.org/8-games-for-learning/34-the-nexus-today contains readings in 29 topical areas on the key manifestations of the nexus that appear in the ACTION cards of Thirst for Power.