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As a scenario tool Megawatts and Marbles helps decision makers (utilities, governments, and NGOs) to experience future electricity systems hands on.
We use Megawatts and Marbles as a community workshop to discuss questions about electricity and renewable energy.
Megawatts & Marbles is a fun, interactive, multi-player workshop developed by a group of PhD students at the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) at the University of Victoria. We demonstrate how different types of power generation behave and how these different types of generation are integrated into the electrical grid.
Participants experience the challenges of balancing generation and demand, hands-on, by taking on the roles of power plants who must work together to meet time-varying demand. Electricity, represented by marbles, is transmitted down a track to the consumers - a model city. Will the generators meet the demand or will the lights go out?
Through this game the challenges of balancing generation and demand are experienced hands-on in the context of a transition to a "greener" electricity system with more renewable power.
Fun is in the focus of our workshops, as fun facilitates learning and understanding.
The game provokes questions and fosters enquiry-based learning and interactive discussions.
M&M is a social game; Team work and healthy group dynamics are essential essential skills.
The workshop is set up for several teams to compete: who can build the best (ie. "greenest") electricity system?