Global Water Games K-12

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The Global Water Games K-12 initiative is an innovative approach to helping high school students deeply understand the interconnections between science, economics, and policy. In the UVA Bay Game students take the roles of farmers, land developers, watermen, or government regulators, and make critical decisions that impact the environmental and economic health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed over a 20-year period. As they play the game, students interact with each other to negotiate personal and regional strategies to attain sustainability. In this way, the UVA Bay Game links directly to the lives of Virginia students through the roles they play, the policies and practices that impact their environment, and the intrinsic link between the health of the watershed and the health of the economy.

The Bay Game introduces students to the Chesapeake Bay as a dynamic complex system, in which the decisions made by each stakeholder interact with those of other players and natural processes to generate realistic but unanticipated consequences. The Game provides students the opportunity to participate in an authentic learning environment appropriate for extended inquiry projects and the application of principles from earth science, biology, and environmental science. By placing students in the role of decision makers with both individual and collective goals, the Bay Game provides a virtual laboratory that allows students to engage in meaningful inquiry and conduct experiments related to the social sciences as well as the natural sciences.

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