Science Education Solutions and the Institute for STEM Education have created two challenging, fun-to-play, card games in which game play allows the exploration an important challenge faced by our society, the interdependence of energy demand, water availability, and climate change; this we call the Nexus of Energy, Water, and Climate.

Thirst for Power


Thirst for Power was highlighted at the 2016 Climate Game Jam at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

You’re the governor of a region, and you need to provide for the energy needs of your citizens. Other governors have the same challenge, but you need to beat them to reach your goal first. Keep in mind, all forms of power (energy) generation use up water resources, but your region has limited water.

All forms of power (energy) generation have an impact on your regions environment, and your region has had a hard environmental impact limit.

Can you beat the other governors in achieving your region’s power (energy) goals, or will your region succumb to its environmental impact limit?


Thirst for Power is a real-life strategy game where the player has to plan and customize their region using cost-benefit analysis, resource management, new technologies, and policy-making. You win by being the first governor to balance your regions’ thirst for energy with its limited water supply, and without exceeding your pollution limit. This highly addictive and educational game was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Here’s is what educators and game enthusiasts have said about Thirst for Power:

Thirst for Power … delivers on all counts. The Goals are practical and not over-inflated, and the Actions contain a diverse and accurate representation of available resources and how they are managed. But what really sells this activity is that it provides a healthy dose of friendly competition for students to get engaged with and makes them think about complex interrelationships among climate, water, and energy.”

– Mike Jensen, Science Gallery and Planetarium Programs Supervisor, Manitoba Museum

“If you’re looking for a game to simulate sustainable development, widen your understanding of resource limitations, and inspire you to tackle the biggest challenges of our time, [Thirst for Power] is for you.”

– Adam Powers, Operations Analyst, Clean Choice Energy

Challenge and Persuade


Challange and Persuade was highlighted at the 2016 Climate Game Jam at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The Nexus of Energy, Climate, and Water

In this game, players develop arguments, challenge others’ ideas, and try to persuade a judge that they have the best argument. The cards provide easy-to-read facts for any level player to construct an argument around one of the nexus topics. Challenge and Persuade is a fun and social card game that challenges players to think about the choices we have in balancing our need for water and energy with the challenge of minimizing climate change.



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Resources for Learning

The Nexus Concept: An Overview

Focus on the Nexus: A  selection of articles that specifically illustrate the Nexus concept.

In the Classroom: Illustrations of how instructors might use the games and the Resource Library in the classroom.

Nexus Resource Library: Extensive collection of accessible articles related to the Nexus concept.

Common Core Standards and NGSS Alignment