Fields of Fuel Computer Game

Middle School High School Undergraduate Nonformal
Stand-Alone Activity

In this game, players—both students and the public—take on the role of farmers working to sustainably grow crops to produce energy resources, earn income and improve ecosystem services. In doing so, players engage in sophisticated systems-level thinking and learn about:

  • Ecological and economic aspects of sustainability
  • Short and long term dynamics of the sustainable systems
  • Local and global impacts of individual farmer management decisions

Interacting with and making sense of game dynamics demonstrates the complexity involved with the sustainable production of bioenergy crops and facilitates engagement with current research and sustainability in ways that are difficult with traditional instructional approaches.

Play online at

Extend the learning by combining this activity with The Science of Farming research story, Growing Energy data dive, Biomass Yield and Root Growth in Crops field investigations, Root Depth Model, and Bioenergy Farm Game.

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Earth Science



Environmental Science

Social Studies

Biodiversity & Evolution

Carbon Cycle & Climate Change


Plants & Photosynthesis

Sustainable Energy Systems

Sustainability, biodiversity, carbon cycle, energy, net energy, life cycle assessment, systems modeling, photosynthesis, carbon sequestration, agriculture, ecology, climate change, supply and demand, water quality, perennial vs annual, ecosystem services, data analysis, scientific argumentation

Familiarity with basic farming practices, concept of sustainability, concept of bioenergy and biofuels, some experience interpreting graphs helpful

One or more 50-minute class periods