Module 4: DATA, TOOLS AND RESOURCES – Using climate simulations and games

Using climate simulations and games

Dashboards and climate simulations using data can be difficult and complex for pupils to use.

Here are some ideas to help you take advantage of these powerful learning tools:

– Try to follow the specifications about pedagogy and powerful learning with Geography, GIS and other STEAM subjects from the GI-Learner Project.

– Use active methodologies (gamification, work in groups, based on projects and problems learning, flipped classroom…).
Using active methodologies is beneficial in the context of teaching climate change and related topics for several reasons (active engagement, critical thinking, contact with “real life” and real problems in the learning process, motivation and engagement and developed of practical and procedures skills.

Separate tasks and be clear (step by step) to give pupils the time to take a deep understanding.

– Start by using data close to where the students live/go to school.
This will help their understanding and you can emphasise more profound and complex topics since the students will be aware of the context in which they operate.

Regarding the use of climate change, an example would be to use a local scale close to the school, such as the city region or neighbourhood, and the issues associated with local climate that affect the student.

Analyse and draw your own conclusions from official data

To foster a better understanding of climate change, the use of data and geographical thinking can be used through the analysis of climate data (data dashboard), carbon footprint information (footprint network) and GDP (from the World Bank).

Activity: Examine the classroom activity created to use official data. What challenges might an exercise such as this create?

Reflecting ethical issues of climate change


Climate Simulations

Most climate games and simulations are based on data, They are an engaging way to encourage discussion and critical thinking about climate change.

Many have been developed to help players assess possible actions on climate. They involve decisions with consequences, enabling players to consider climate-risks and test possible future scenarios in a captivating and fun way.

Using a Climate Simulation: En-ROADS:

“Be a political actor in Climate Change decisions”
En-ROADS is a global climate simulator that allows users to explore the impact that dozens of policies – such as electrifying transport, pricing carbon and improving agricultural practices – are likely to have on many factors like energy prices, temperature, air quality, and sea level rise.

click image to enlarge

Activity: Play the video “An Overview of the En-ROADS Simulator”. How might you use the simulation in your class?

Activity: Examine the classroom activity created to use the En-ROADS simulation to model policy implications. What challenges might an exercise such as this create?

Activity: Explore some of the other climate games and simulations identified by the Teaching the Future project. Identify one which might be most suitable for use with your classes. Prepare an introduction to the game for the class.