We have just about wrapped up our unit on Conservation of Energy which, true to our TLLP, revolved mainly around a game called Electrocity. The game proved to be an excellent platform for teaching the students about forms of energy, the pros and cons of using the different sources of energy, and seeing how to balance the need for energy with the wise development of various sources that impact the environment in different ways. After we had been “into” the game we  introduced the fact that each of our classes had a teacher code and that the students could register their finished game and then be scored and compared with others in the classes. I noticed that when the competition factor was introduced the emphasis for some of the students went from learning, to getting the highest score. In my opinion, some students didn’t think so much about what they were doing in relation to energy use but to just finding out what created the highest score. This made me consider the question: If winning the game becomes the focus then does the educational value decrease?  Yes, we told the students that they are being evaluated on the research they do around their towns and the blogging they did about their game play, but is it possible to encourage the competition and still have the students put the majority of their effort into the educational value of the game? I am now in the process of going through all student posts and results of their research. Stay tuned for my exciting conclusion (maybe) to this question.