The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Game-based Learning to Enhance the Awareness on Raw Materials Necessary for the Energy Transition

Giacomo Bianchin, University of Bologna, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (Italy)

Armida Torreggiani, National research council of italy - cnr (Italy)

Lorenzo Forini, Video maker and game designer, Italy (Italy)

Roberto Braga, University of Bologna, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (Italy)

Alberto Zanelli, Consiblio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Cnr) Istiuto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività (ISOF) (Italy)


The European Union is transitioning to the circular economy to reduce the use of primary raw materials (RMs) in the manufacturing of common goods and technologies. This aims to give a longer use-life to overcome about RM supply. This change from linear to circular economy needs European citizens to be aware of the importance of RMs for the transition to the renewable energy [1].

Educational (or serious) games are gaining attention as attractive and effective tools to create awareness and promoting behavioural change related to sustainability [2-4]. To trigger the yougsters’interest in RMs, we chose a game-based learning methodology to introduce the new concepts. We developed a duel card game called “Raw Materials Fight” to attract youngsters of the 10-15 age range. The game is inspired by other popular duel card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic, Pokemon, etc., and the game’s intention is to help players understand the importance of many raw materials in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies. In our game each card represents a chemical element, or a compound, or an action toward the green energy transition. The players act to remove the RMs from their opponent's supply, represented from the cards in their own decks, or to reset the opponent's "life points" that represents the capability to work with RMs. Every card reports a short sentence that introduces the players to the main use of the element in the field of renewables or the advantages of technologies and action toward the transition to the renewable energies. In addition, an "energy units" special card was inserted in order to strength the link with the technological value chain reality [5].

To reinforce learning, the game includes three question-times based on some scientific information reported in the cards. If the player answers correctly, a reward system is activated to increase motivation to read the scientific texts. Also a digital version is developing to ease the diffusion of the game.
"Raw Materials Fight" was tested in some informal settings and the feedbacks collected were very positive. Thus, this serious game, is a very promising informal learning tool that can be used to raise awareness of the RM relevance in the transition to the renewable energies in an interactive, enjoyable and self­-explanatory way.



Raw materials, energy transition, serious games, game-based learning, chemical elements



[1] Carrara, al. Supply chain analysis and material demand forecast in strategic technologies and sectors in the EU – A foresight study, Publications

Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2023, doi:10.2760/386650.

[2] Nesti R., Game-Based Learning, gioco e progettazione ludica in educazione, ETS ed., Pisa, 2017, 27-37.

[3] Torreggiani A. et al. RAWsiko - Materials around us: A Digital Serious Game to Teach about Raw Materials' Importance for the Transition towards a Low- Carbon Economy, New Perspectives in science education, 18-19 March 2021, Pixel ed., Florence, 431-436

[4] Benvenuti E. et al. EcoCEO: Understanding the Circular Economy by playing, 10th International Conference of The Future of Education, 18-19 June 2020, Florence, 162-167.

[5] Illingworth S, Wake P (2021) Ten simple rules for designing analogue science games. PLoSComput Biol 17(6): e1009009.


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