Engaging schools for sustainable water management


Audio recording of the Clean & Green School game play

Together with a school year our project was coming to an end in June 2018. Two previously developed board games were redesigned, tested, underwent several iterations in the Netherlands, and in June presented to school Kidus Kora’an and local stakeholders in Adama.
The game “Clean & Green School”, originally developed by LeAF, was redesigned. This was done by F. Heijn, a student from Utrecht University, supervised by Dr. J. Houtkamp (Utrecht University and Wageningen University and Research), with an input of D. Kragić Kok from LeAF.
Objectives of the game were to increase knowledge of the pupils about the newly implemented system (a constructed wetland for treatment of water from a handwashing basin), improve their hygienic practices, and promote treated water reuse for toilet flushing and school garden irrigation. The redesigned game was played in June in Adama, with support of MGL Consulting Engineers, with in total 8 pupils - age 11 to 14, 4 teachers and 4 stakeholders. The evaluation and provided feedback revealed that the redesigned game was perceived as engaging and objectives were overall clear. However younger pupils needed more time to fully understand the game rules, which can be further addressed by introducing minor changes in game design and scaffolding.
The second game “Water Go!”, developed previously within the project, also underwent some changes though the main principle of simulating the newly implemented water treatment system remained. The game targeted operators of the constructed wetland system and school staff responsible for cleaning of school premises. The objective of the game was to prepare the staff responsible for the newly implemented system (mentioned above) for long term operation and maintenance. Prior to the game session the players, visited the constructed wetland system, in order to visualise which game field corresponds to which system unit in real life. The game was played with the school head, constructor, cleaning ladies and school guard. During the de-briefing one of the ladies summarized her impression of the game as “recreation and education”, while the constructor of the wetland found the whole project interesting for his country, as it may create new job opportunities.
The games are planned to be presented at the conference Water Science for Impact in Wageningen, The Netherlands (16-18 October 2018) during the special session on serious games for sustainable water management in the developing countries, co-organized by LeAF.
If you are around, join us and try out one of the games!

Vi Nguyen's picture

Great to see that your redesigned board games have been well received in your test schools. Is this now the finalised version of these games?

For all those interested in seeing the showcasing of these games at the international Water Science for Impact conference in October, you can find more information here

Darja Kragic Kok's picture

Hi Vi, thanks for your question and for posting the conference link!  Every serious game needs to undergo rounds and rounds of testing, evaluation and iteration. We plan to make additional (minor) changes to one of the developed board games, and to leave the second game as it is for now. Future steps would involve developing digital versions of the games. 

Vi Nguyen's picture

Thanks Darja, looking forward to learning more about your developed digital games in the future.