I'm very excited to share the news that the California Academy of Sciences has added a new online game to our Flipside Science modules called "Cornucopia." This fast-paced, fun strategy game puts you in charge of a virtual farm, where you have to fulfill different food orders before time runs out. Keep an eye on your water meter, and check the nutrient values on the food you are planting! Earn an upgrade to add farming technologies like gray water recycling and drip line irrigation.
Developed by independent game designers Team Sweetwolf, Cornucopia came out of the Climate Game Jam that the Academy co-sponsored last year, along with NOAA, the White House Office Science and Technology Policy and the Smithsonian. Initially a prototype built over a fun and hectic weekend at the Academy, Cornucopia has been enhanced with improved game mechanics, more actual environmental science, and an educator guide for teachers to use the game in the classroom.
Designed for teachers to use with their students when teaching units about food, agriculture, water management, or other environmental science topics, the game is free for all to play at calacademy.org/cornucopia. Combined with the Flipside Science modules, Cornucopia is a fun teaching tool where every student can play with a simulated farm to better understand the effects of different food choices on the earth and ourselves.
Our beta-testing of the game this summer revealed that one of the challenges was getting kids to stop playing. Not a bad problem to have!