Official Blog of the Education Exchange Corps

Monday, June 15, 2015

(Nukes, Rocketships, and Nation Building) + Kids = ? (Or How We Made Our Leadership Game, Part III)

ON THE FIRST DAY, the children shall lead.

We've already posted about the physical design of the leadership game and the beginning of the first day of the game.
Now for the rest of the game play.

We last left you with four councils of kids, grouped by age, running four different countries. Some may have formed governments. Others may not be sure what to do. Either choice is fine in this game of learning and experimentation.

But now, no matter how ready the young leaders are, it's time for the first Global Challenge.

The first challenge is Nation Building. The young leaders will have 70 minutes to build schools, infrastructure, a transportation network, hospitals, and a military. At the same time, they will have opportunities to meet their international counterparts at different gatherings hosted by our high school students. The first discussions of trade will occur at this juncture.

Seventy minutes may sound like a lot of time, but it will blow by quite quickly. During this time, our young leaders will:
  • determine how to make decisions within each country
  • learn how to budget
  • set an education budget
  • set an infrastructure budget
  • set a healthcare budget
  • raise an army, air force, and navy
  • negotiate with other countries
  • establish trade deals and trade routes
  • measure possible troop movement using their maps and tape measures
  • consider national tax policy
  • draft and discuss their decisions
  • submit their national decisions before time runs out.
If a country does not submit their decisions on time, they will have forfeited their turn. Consider that our analog to a congressional-gridlock-created government shutdown.

Once the national decisions are in hand, the Keepers of the Board (our wonderful high school students!) will move pieces on the board to reflect what each country has done. Every young leader watches.

Having seen the results of their choices, each students goes to their notebook and reflects upon the experience.

Then it's time to go home.

Each day - with exceptions for Fridays and some other special events - will proceed by our Daily Schedule!

The Daily Schedule

Breakfast (Program to 9:30)
Morning Debriefing
Global Challenge and Domestic Demands
Challenge Training
Challenge Research
Country Time
Global Time
Challenge Questions
Challenge Questions
Global Time + Country Time + Decisions
Journal Reflections

Each morning, after receiving updates from the high school students running the international organizations, our young leaders will meet with a new Global Challenge. Every country will hear of the Global Challenge. But each country will also receive a Domestic Demand, known only to the country the Demand affects.
These Domestic Demands are not dissimilar to Global Challenges. Their effects are usually more locally-centered, but they may not stay that way. The leaders can choose to share the details of their Domestic Demands with others, or they may keep them secret.

Because of the secretive nature of these demands, we cannot reveal them to you. But we will tell you they'll challenge students on multiple levels.

We also can't reveal too many details about the Global Challenges, but we can give you the categories!
Here is the tentative schedule of Global Challenges our young leaders will face:

The Global Challenges
Nation Building
Global Warming
Space Race
Water Scarcity
Nuclear Proliferation
Spiraling Satellite
Small Pox
Science Expo
Computer Virus
Solar Flare
Ozone Depletion
World’s Fair

On some of these days, we will have Special Guests come and present a Global Challenge and then visit each country as the leaders wrestle with what to do.

Each day, our volunteers will facilitate the interactions within and between countries. They will serve as advisers. They will help train our youngest leaders through more directed instruction, and they will assist our older leaders through guided research. They are the folks who make this game work and who make sure our kids have a great time.
Without them, our game is just a piece of paper sandwiched between some metal and plastic.
With them, our game becomes a world of learning.

And so our kids learn. We will have some instructional periods, but almost all of the learning happens during student-to-student interactions.

We believe school should be a place where students are encouraged to take responsibility, where teachers feel free to be creative. School should be a place where students can fail and then grow from their mistakes.

That's why we've created this elaborate world: So kids can learn how to run theirs.

Elad Gross
President and CEO
Education Exchange Corps

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