Making “Green Sector” fun through board games

A growing body of research proves that properly designed team-based board games not only inspire learning, but they also encourage communication, collaboration and risk taking. They empower players by helping them to build self-confidence. The different elements of the game are designed to support a wide range of partaker abilities, and to make them play different roles.

Last EUROPEA meeting in Normady showed us that this can be also applied in the “green sector”. There were two workshops where the creators of the board games explained us how they got the idea, how they developed it and how benefitial they are at classroom.

RURALIS is a role-playing game created by a French teacher for the learning of agroecology. Each player assumes a different role on the board, which is a real place in a French country side. The objective is to negotiate until reaching an agreement that will be beneficial for all of them. This means that students have to understand their role in the game, communicate with each other, and agree on benefits for the environment.

AGROCHALLENGE is a card game in which pupils can learn the different environmental escenarios and their possible solutions. Through the game, they will be aware of the current threats of our planet and how they could be prevented. A very motivated teacher, Danuta Rzewuski, developed it years ago. The game is in French but there is a draft English version. If you want to know more about this game, she is looking for some partners to develop it in different languages. Her email address is danuta.rzewuski@educagru.fr

In those workshops, teachers realized that they need to challenge the current bias in many educational settings against designing and using games. Games are useful, effective, and enjoyable for all ages. Board games provide many educational and teaching benefits and have proven their value when designed appropriately for learning.

Agroecology but… what does it mean?

Agroecology was the main topic of the last EUROPEA meeting in Normandy. There, we could realize how difficult it was to define it specifically. In fact, experts have different points of view about it depending on which area they focus on (agriculture, forestry, environmental resources, etc.).

The information showed from specialist speakers in the congress brought light to us. First, agroecology is mostly a process, so it is constantly changing. In other words, we should talk of “agroecological transition” therefore it can be learned (nice for teachers!!).

Due to the the variety of issues that take part in the agroecology, they pointed out that the process shall be implement through transfer of knowledge. Some of these issues are political projects, scientific development, social movement and tools among others. There are several European projects in order to get the process faster such as the program “Teach to produce otherwise”, Social network eapnormadie.fr, some Erasmus + KA2…

At the end, agroecology teaches us that, in the “Green sector”, several solutions can be taken to resolve the same problem. Then, the habits of farmers can change, because “the only thing than is permanent is change” (Heraclito).

Projects which make schools fly

Drone European Platform project, a KA202 which there are some partners from EUROPEA, is more alive than ever. For this time, students from patners had to create an infography about use law for drones in each country. It was launched as a competition for secondary school students.

In EFA La Malvesía school, from Valencia (Spain), students for second degree made authentic pieces of art as you can check in the attached pictures. They only used their ipads, Piktochart app and, of course, a lot of creativity. At the same time, students from Denmark (JU Arhus), Italy (Duca deli Abruzzi) and The Netherlands (Tirantes and Helicon) did the same activity. The winners will be announced in the project website and their creations will be used  in the training course for drone users.