The Energy Game: Finding Energy Resources

This energy game activity engages students in learning about energy sources. This game demonstrates that energy, the environment, and economics are closely tied together. During the course of the game and in the discussion afterward, students learn the concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, net energy profit, law of diminishing returns, and that availability does not mean usefulness. Please note the link for this resource takes you to a site with multiple geology resources. This game is located under the "Geology, Society, and the Environment" section at the bottom of the page.

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DeWayne Backhus
Beloit College

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Science teachers may want to team up with an economics/social studies teacher to run the activity.

Plan to have enough clean-up time or else there will be quite a mess on the floor of your classroom. Only do this activity if you can handle the idea of potentially having beads be all over your classroom, many not found until weeks later. This problem is mitigated by grouping beads as discussed in scientific annotations.

Teachers may want to restrict the area that the beads are scattered in. Some may be crushed or lost in one period's time, making it difficult to repeat for another class immediately after the first.

Post all the rules on the board in addition to verbally discussing them.

Do this activity over 2 days - one day for the searching and recording (and clean up) and one day for analysis and discussion.

This activity does not include wind energy but it does include solar. Teachers could modify this so that wind and solar are treated similarly in the game.

Literacy and Resources