Play Your Cards Right: A Quick STEM Game

Last week’s professional development session in Moreton Bay included a swift session of on-the-spot innovation when Michelle and Matt turned a pack of STEM playing cards into a sci-fi game.

Playing cards

Pack of cards or a sci-fi game?

Queensland STEM Education Network have produced a pack of playing cards to promote STEM careers – each card includes a description of a job in the STEM sector, from microbiologist to aeronautical engineer, graphic designer to agricultural scientist.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Let these STEM playing cards guide the way.

The presenters thought “how can we turn these cards into a substantial exploration of science, technology, and their place in the world”?

So they split the groups of library workers into an even number of teams. Each team had to devise a science-fictional threat to humanity: players came up with everything from global Wi-Fi failure and zombie apocalypses to crop shortages, alien invasion, and the destruction of all chocolate on the planet.

The teams then swapped their scenarios with another group.

Each player then picked a card from the STEM pack and the role on the card became their “character” e.g. they were a STEM professional tasked with solving the threat they’d been given.

The mismatched teams of science heroes, thrown together by chance, had to devise a plan to save the planet.

Example playing cards

Geographic Information Systems Officer, Games Developer, Zoologist, Agricultural Engineer … STEM careers or a game for your library space?

This could be a fun activity for you to run in your library, and it’s also an example of how you can create inspiring and original activities out of whatever you have to hand.

So take a look around your desk as you read this blog, see what materials are in reach – and make a game for us! We’d love to see what ideas you have to share.