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  • In this recorded webinar, Deli Connell and guest presenters Rose Jowsey and Carl Johnson from DHI Water New Zealand as well as game participants reflect on the benefits and challenges experienced during the inaugural New Zealand Aqua Republica Eco Challenge 2016. This webinar also features comments from the teacher of the winning team, Matthew Williams.

    Background to the game

    The Eco Challenge is an annual learning event for ages 11–17. Youth around the country developed skills by participating in a serious online game to balance the needs of human populations with those of the environment within a water catchment model and compete to be regional and national winners.

    The game features a bird’s eye view of a water catchment, based on real-life modelling, where the player acts as the catchment manager applying system-wide approaches to integrated water resource management.

    Carl is the technical lead behind the development of the New Zealand version of the serious game and has worked alongside Rose at DHI to bring the of Aqua Republica Eco Challenge 2016 to New Zealand schools.

    We used a lot of maths and learned about balancing industry and the environment.


    Unpacking some of the strategies for success.

    This webinar created an opportunity for participants to reflect on the serious game. It describes some of the statistics of the game and unpacks some of the winning strategies used by the top teams. It also prompts teachers who are using gaming as a context for learning to broaden their thinking by incorporating scientific and cultural aspects into curriculum areas.

    Nature of science

    Modelling in science is an important aspect to predicting future impacts from different scenarios. Managing water catchment usage is vital to conserving groundwater.

    Activity idea

    In the Water issues activity, students investigate issues surrounding water in their local area and relate this knowledge to water issues in other countries.


    Topic PowerPoint slide number(s) Video timecode
    Introducing the Science Learning Hub and presenters 1–5 00:00
    Aqua Republica - who participated and initial feedback 6–9 1:27
    Aqua Republica - winners 10-11 3:10
    Aqua Republica – statistics – how the game was played 12 4:30
    Aqua Republica – feedback required 13 7:32
    Aqua Republica – measuring learning 14 23:48
    Aqua Republica – recap 15 26:12
    Aqua Republica - sponsors 16 27:06
    SLH promotional bookmarks, SLH links, thanks 17-18 27:40

    More information about Aqua Republica

    The AquaRepublica ​serious game is now offline.

    Useful links

    Water games is a collection of different games addressing various water challenges.

    TKI has further information about gaming for learning.

    See the NZCER Games for Learning project's stimulating reports.

    Check out our Gaming and virtual learning – Pinterest board.

      Published 31 October 2016, Updated 16 October 2017 Referencing Hub articles
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