How can we make learning fun?
It’s a question that educators have been asking for years. A growing body of research shows that implementing the theory known as “Game Based Learning” can improve retention rates and develop critical thinking skills.
It’s also a question folks in the water world have been asking more recently. In and out of the classroom, initiatives from organizations like Games for Sustainability are making an effort to teach learners of all ages about biodiversity, water policy, climate adaptation and more.
The International Water Resources Association’s Groundwater Taskforce, inspired by chairperson Anita Milman’s successes implementing Game Based Learning in her own classroom at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, created an online game that combines logic puzzle-solving, mystery and science to teach players about groundwater.
The release of the game, named “Memory Mayhem,” coincided with World Water Day earlier this week, the theme of which was “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible.”
The taskforce had only two objectives when building out the game. “First of all, I hope [players] enjoy it,” Milman told Circle of Blue.
“If they enjoy it,” she continued, “they’ll remember it. And if they remember it, then we’ve achieved part of our goal.”
Jane is a Communications Associate for Circle of Blue. She writes The Stream and has covered domestic and international water issues for Circle of Blue. She is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Multimedia Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Grand Valley, she was the host of the Community Service Learning Center podcast Be the Change. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jane enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time outdoors.