GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 100-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


PARK BOUSH, Lisa E., Center for Integrative Geosciences, University of Connecticut, 354 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269-1045

Earth history is often a gateway for many students to science. This is because there is intrinsic curiosity and interest in how Earth works and how it has evolved through time. Unfortunately, with standardized testing, a lot of the natural enthusiasm for Earth history is lost because of the testing requirement in most states. To bridge this gap, a board game emphasizing the history of Earth and the fossil record that is based on state and national science benchmark teaching and learning standards has been developed and is ready for dissemination, with the goal to make learning about Earth history accessible and fun, while also adhering to academic learning outcomes. This game involves two to six players who roll a die and travel through geologic time from the Hadean to the Quaternary and answer questions based on the science standards. If they get the answer correct, they move forward additional spaces according to what is on the question card. Along the way, they may fall victim to an “extinction event” that sends them back in time or may benefit from a “land bridge” which advances them to another time period. The questions for the game are divided into four levels: K-2; 3-5; 6-8 and 9-12 grade levels and each question has the benchmark and academic content standard information in the corner so that teachers can assign the game to their students, knowing that they will be reviewing these competencies. In addition, the board itself is designed using the geologic time scale, so each square represents a unique time period. Extinction events are located on the squares corresponding to the time in which they occurred and the player that lands on one has to go back to the beginning of that geologic period. The winner is the player who reaches the Holocene first! Initial testing on students from different grade levels indicates that this game is both fun to play and effective in teaching and reinforcing concepts on Earth history. This game could easily be utilized in classrooms of all grade levels.