SimCityEDU: The Cities Grow!

SimCityEDU: The Cities Grow!

November 20, 2013|Posted in: Project Based Learning, SimCityEDU

All of the 10 cities within New Powell Valley are underway, but we hit a problem. There is a new lesson that covers comparing and contrasting energy sources, their costs, and the pollution that each makes. This took time, I used a Mimio slide show which showed all of the screenshots of the power plants from SimCity. Students wrote down the information on their module sheet, then answered the questions.

The problem? Well the first lesson covered roads and zoning, so when students placed these items, little Sim Citizens began moving in! Great news, except these citizens need power to get their homes and businesses off the ground! So after students completed the power plant lab, they found that many of their buildings were now abandoned.

Next time I do this with a class, it will be important to pause the game when they are done with their roads and zoning. As it stands, students are bulldozing the darkened, abandoned buildings…but not without a sense of empathy.

“That’s our local pizza restaurant, you can’t just bulldoze it!” one student announced. It was a great moment, where I saw the connection these cities are making with the students…there is a ton of buy in.

A great teachable moment also happened when one city council did a great job putting in all of their roads. They came up to me in the computer lab. “Mr. Stephens, we have a problem, we don’t have enough for our power plant!” So we had to do a bit of Cheetah Speed to try to get enough tax revenue from the citizens before they decided to leave town. As the population began to shrink, the city council got enough money to put in a Wind Power Plant to save the day. The citizens are much happier now.

But the needs don’t stop…”Mr. Stephens, now they want water!” I heard a team talking about the need for water. They were laughing about a citizen saying, “I need a shower, where’s the water!” Then it dawned on them…”Guys we really need to put some water in next!”

I’ll report back on the priority project next. They are having to prioritize the eight entry public services and which is most important. This will open up a grand discussion on what needs to come first, the debates are sure to be excellent.