The EOS Dynamic Earth Games – Learning Through Play

03 Apr 2019

Hwa Chong Institute students playing

What makes up the exciting memories of my first interaction with science? I recall touching the slimy texture of snails, sniffing ammonia salt (also known as “smelly salt”), and making my sister’s hair stand with a balloon.

For me, science is a journey – a fun-filled adventure that satisfies our curiosity of the universe. Think about it. What makes us enjoy playing soccer, chess, or Candy Crush? Games are fun because they involve elements of competition with others, even ourselves, and some require us to cooperate with one or more people. This sense of competition and camaraderie are essentially what makes us enjoy playing games.

The Dynamic Earth Games, an Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) series of board games and card games about natural hazards, use these same elements to get participants engaged with science through carefully crafted gameplay.

BOHO Interactive team fine-tuning the game mechanics of “2 Farm 2 Furious” (Source: Kuang Jianhong/Earth Observatory of Singapore)

So how did we make the earth sciences interesting to learn? EOS, BOHO Interactive and Science Centre Singapore (SCS) put their brains together and collaborated over a span of three years to develop seven games that impart earth science knowledge to players in a fun way.

This series of games has a strong focus on two types of natural hazards; volcanoes and typhoons. Playtests with secondary school students from Singapore were conducted at SCS in January this year, allowing the team to tweak and fine-tune the games.

In the video below, Sabrina Smith (EOS Director of Community Engagement) and I share our thoughts on the developmental and playtesting stages of the games.

This is the first out of four posts in a special series on the EOS Dynamic Earth Games. Please check this space again next week for our second instalment.

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