Green Planet

The Green Planet Game was developed as part of the Award Winning teaching resource Greener Futures for Key Stage 3. It was developed by PECT in collaboration with Peterborough Teachers to present issues relating to Sustainable Development in a fun and innovative way.

There are three key areas within the revised KS3 curriculum (2008) where this game could be used to enhance teaching; Geography, Citizenship and Science, as well as the cross curricular dimension of Sustainable Development.

The premise of the game is that humans have destroyed the earth and must leave it to set up a new community on the Green planet. They must start from scratch and provide everything that their new community needs in the biosphere, including air, water, food, energy, and housing.

There are a number of ways in which the game can be used as part of a wider topic.

In order to complete the game you need to survive for 100 days, there are only a handful of people that we are aware of who have achieved this. It is not necessary for the pupils (or teacher) to be able to do this for the game to be a useful teaching tool. Once the pupils are familiar with how the game works they can be directed to build different scenarios and find out how this affects the results for example;

  • Only use renewable energy
  • Only use nuclear
  • No livestock
  • No recycling
  • No trees

Key teaching points

  • There are no perfect solutions it’s a matter of finding the best compromise between use of resources, limiting pollution and human need.
  • All resources are limited including clean air and water
  • The physical and human dimensions of the environment are interrelated.
  • There are many factors which may influence a decision to use one type of technology or another, man power, space, requirements of the population. For example within the game the pupils may wish to build a recycling plant but then discover that their chosen energy source does not produce enough energy to support the plant, the houses and the aeration facility.
  • How their decisions regarding energy use will affect the community in the future.
  • It is not just humans which cause pollution.
  • There are a range of technologies available within the game for different solutions to problems presented; these could be examined in more detail.
  • In the game some actions are limited by the available workforce, pupils could also investigate what factors would limit what was would be done in the real world, for example, cost, planning regulations, land requirements.

Further research

Using the game in different ways should also provide areas of interest for further investigation, some which have been used by other schools include;

  • Desalination plants
  • De forestation
  • Compare amount of energy produced by different modes of energy production
  • Food production