As part of the Envirocrops project, C4E and our partners (Calvium, AFBI and NFU Energy) have devised a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) game called Cropper. This is aimed at young people, agricultural students and biomass rookies who want to understand what it takes to succeed in growing willow and miscanthus.
The aim of the game is to try and produce 800 tonnes of fuel for a school biomass boiler over a 10 year period. It’s also important to make a profit so the player is essentially like the Project Manager in an episode of The Apprentice!
In order to win, you need to make good decisions regarding land preparation, weed and pest control, planting and harvesting timing and lots more. However, there is also an element of luck involved as we have incorporated “Wheels of Fate” so your results also depend on your given location (Sunnyshire, Rainyshire, Windyshire and Dryshire) and the type of land you are growing the crops on. Also, we’ve included several climate change jeopardies so you might find yourself affected by drought, flooding or new introduced pests or benefitting from unseasonally good growing conditions.
The way we have designed the game is that after just three plays even an absolute novice should be able to win and work out all of the bad choices to avoid. The game should take no longer than 15-20 minutes to play and has entertaining animated features to keep players interested.
You can play the game at envirocrops.com.
Please, please, please – once you have played the game provide us with your Feedback. This is absolutely essential if we are to make improvements and increase the user experience. Please click the feedback form to offer your views (it’s a very quick form!).
Also, if you want to be kept up do date with new developments, details of events and the forthcoming alpha release of the Envirocrops app then please sign up to our Newsletter. We will send this out quarterly, and will not share details with anyone else. Please go to the sign up page.
Enjoy the game!
The Envirocrops project is supported by the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme, a £36 million programme, funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s. For more information read this press release.