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Field Day Learning Games


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Engineering, Computer Science

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Games

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin, Capital (CESA 2)


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  • This fun game teaches students how to build their town while preserving the health of the lakes. 
  • Students explore complex interactions between population growth, agricultural practices, land use change, fertilizer application, algae blooms, weather, and human happiness. 
Teaching Tips


  • This game is really fun!
  • It is extremely easy to use on your computer. No need to download or install anything.

Additional Prerequisites

  • If possible, it is best for each student to have their own computer.
  • Field Day Learning Games is a project at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


  • This game can be used in many different disciplines and grade levels to explain the interdependence of humans and the environment.
    • Social studies classes can discuss economics or geography. Guiding questions can include "How can we make farming sustainable?" and "Where should humans farm and why?"
    • Science classes can discuss the role of fertilizer in industrial farming, the role of rainfall and runoff and how that leads to aquatic dead zones, or the science related to algae blooms.
  • Some students may lose at this game quite early. They can simply restart the game and try to make different choices.
  • You can create a contest in your class - whoever has the highest population at the end of the class wins!
  • Students can watch this series of five videos on oceanic dead zones.
  • Students can also take this interactive online course on food and farming.
Scientist Notes
This game provides an opportunity for students to learn smart urban planning, taking into consideration the complex interrelationships existing between humans and their environment. It is suitable to prepare students to understand, plan, and implement actions to achieve environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation in their local communities and in the long-term. This resource is valid and recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
      • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
      • MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • HS-LS2-1 Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
      • HS-LS2-2 Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-6 Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
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    • Wow, this is an amazing resource! This simulation game is an amazing opportunity for students to explore ecological concepts.
      2 years ago