Online game balances differing land uses

An online educational game introduces high school students to land-use concepts that balance agricultural production with environmental impacts.

The game, developed by Iowaresearchers, encourages young people to apply that knowledge when they become responsible for making decisions in farming operations or community planning.

People in Ecosystems Watershed Integration, also known as PEWI, https://www.nrem.iastate.edu/pewi/, is a watershed-scale simulator or educational “what-if” game. It includes features to make it useful to students and instructors seeking to understand land-use concepts. Balancing agriculture with environmental impacts is a complicated exercise. Using a game to examine the trade-offs of land-use practices simplifies the learning process. Students interactively work toward balancing farm production with soil health, clean water, wildlife habitat and other goals. Instructors can have students collaborate or compete to enhance class participation.