EduLARP, or educational live-action role-playing (LARP) brings an innovative and engaging approach to learning that has been adopted by educators and summer camps worldwide and is growing in popularity. It provides an immersive, hands-on learning experience that can be applied to various academic subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
STEM-focused EduLARP scenarios involve students or campers taking on fictional roles that require the application of STEM skills and knowledge. This approach engages participants in a fun and interactive way while allowing them to develop a better understanding of STEM subjects.
Here is a list of different EduLARP scenarios that can you can use to teach STEM in your classroom or summer camp:
- Scientific Lab: In this scenario, participants become scientists working in a lab to conduct experiments and solve problems. The role-playing game could involve creating a specific solution, identifying a scientific challenge, and coming up with a creative solution. The game can also teach scientific methodologies, hypothesis development, data analysis, and problem-solving skills.
- Engineering Challenge: Students can be tasked by a fictional city to design and construct a prototype that meets specific criteria for solving a problem – either real or made up. The challenge should require them to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to design a solution within the given constraints and resources. Examples include waste water collection, moving a building, or even designing a public transportation system.
- Coding Adventure: Campers take on roles such as software engineers or hackers, and work together to solve a particular problem using programming languages. One idea is that they must protect a network or system from a cyber attack. This can also teach participants about cybersecurity and ethical hacking.
- Environmental Investigation: Create a news story that requires the participants to uncover an environmental problem and its source. This can teach the impact of human activities on the environment as well as biodiversity, the effects of climate change, and conservation efforts.
- Crime Scene Investigation (CSI): In this scenario, students or campers act as detectives and solve a crime by using scientific methods such as fingerprint analysis, DNA testing, and forensic science. Introduce the scenario by setting up a crime scene and providing participants with evidence to analyze and enough resources to solve the mystery.
- Space Mission: For this challenge, participants act as astronauts on a space mission and must solve various problems that arise related to physics, astronomy, and engineering. Conduct this scenario by creating a simulated spacecraft (which can be as simple as an image projected on the wall) and providing participants with challenges to overcome.
- Medical Emergency: Students act as medical professionals and must diagnose and treat a patient based on their symptoms. This can be based in an actual or fictional case. Set up involves providing participants with a patient case study and equipment to use.
- Environmental Disaster: In this scenario, participants act as environmental scientists and engineers and must respond to a disaster such as an oil spill or natural disaster. Create a simulated disaster with either images or props and provide participants with tools to clean up and prevent further damage.
- Build a Bridge: For this challenge, participants act as engineers trying to get to an important destination by a specific date and must design and build a bridge using limited resources. The scene should provide materials and a set of requirements that the bridge must meet.
- Renewable Energy: In this scenario, participants act as energy engineers after a natural disaster and must design and build a renewable energy source such as a wind turbine or solar panel for local villages. Start by providing information about the area (by which they will determine the best approach) as well as materials and resources to build their energy source.
- Robot Challenge: Participants take on the role of robotic engineers and must design and program a robot to complete a specific task in space or in a hazardous environment. The scene should require a set of tasks to accomplish and provide resources to build the robot.
- Business Simulation: As business owners or entrepreneurs, the campers or students must manage a fictional business using math, finance, and economics. The simulation should provide a set of business parameters and challenges. Optional: Combine this with other scenarios listed here and the business the participants create has to solve the other challenge.
- Genetics and Evolution: In this scenario, participants act as geneticists and must solve a problem such as determining the origin of a species (perhaps Zombies?) or solving a medical mystery (a pandemic?). Set this scenario by providing participants with the background story, a set of genetic data to analyze, and a problem to solve.
- General Mystery: Another option is to provide a story that requires an array of challenges that require different types of problem solving without one primary focus. This can require students or participants to draw on a wider range of knowledge and skills and include topics outside of STEM like history or literature.
EduLARP offers an exciting approach to teaching STEM subjects, providing participants with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in practical scenarios, which develops a better understanding of the subjects. This approach is also beneficial for improving student engagement, retention, and collaboration skills.
Teachers or camp counselors who need assistance in designing and running EduLARPs can refer to our comprehensive LARP blog which goes into more detail about the process. Try an EduLARP at your location and watch the deep learning happen.
Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer camps, amusement & attraction industries, and more.