Luana Silveri PhD., formerly a researcher in ecology with expertise in Freshwater ecology and climate change, now biology and chemistry teacher at the Rosa Bianca – Weisse rose high school and Ph.D. researcher at the Free University of Bozen in Didactic of science and game-based learning. Passionate for games especially board games, outdoor activities lover, and happy teacher.
A science teacher in the game designer shoes – the YouTopia game experience, a journey through ecology concepts, didactic needs, and game design.
FROG 2022 – Poster
Some papers report that many teachers are quite skeptical on the efficacy of games for deep learning in high school students however, there is a consistent set of literature confirming that game-based learning (GBL) can be effective in education, engaging students, and improving life skills and key competencies. In the last years a new GBL perspective is growing, the game development as an effective tool to foster both: teacher consciousness of GBL effectiveness and students STEM competencies and science knowledge.
After the lockdown as science teacher at the high school, some key questions came into my mind: how support students in coming back to school, to the relationships, in deepening scientific topics and in developing system thinking skills and other 21st-century skills. A small team made by 2 teachers, passionate in gaming, together with 10 students decided to develop a board game to support students in dealing with complex ecological concepts, system thinking and future scenario building ability.
This study describes the development process done by the team and are presented the lessons learnt and observations, which may provide insights on how game-based learning can remove barriers to the process of innovating the way we teach and learn.
Pedagogical principles and learning outcomes were defined by teachers and students, ecological topics and game mechanics were decided and developed by students as well as graphical elements. The final output of the creative process has been YouTopia – the ecosystem valley, a cooperative board game focused on sustainability, ecosystems, and climate change adaptation strategies.
Luana Silveri PhD., formerly research in ecology with an expertise in Freshwater ecology and climate change, now biology and chemistry teacher at the Rosa Bianca – Weisse rose high school and PhD researcher at Free University of Bozen in Didactic of science and game-based learning. Passionate for games especially board games, outdoor activities lover and happy teacher.