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Why we play games in YE

It’s no secret that games work in the YE classroom. Of course they’re fun, but they also bring important lessons to life for students. Jon Bachura, National Outreach Director at YE explains how the traditional educational model is designed and why the YE model is more impactful for students. 

“So much of our traditional educational model is designed to happen only mentally — memorizing facts or learning how to solve math problems in your head, for example, but we know that the longest-lasting lessons come from actual experience. If we can build neural networks in these young brains that are adrenaline-rich, engaging experiences, they’re unlikely to forget.”        

This is where activities like Trading Game and the classic game PIT come into play, so to speak. 

“In the original PIT game rules, players are not allowed to verbalize what commodity they’d like to trade,” Jon says. “But this is incongruent with the way business really works. In our free market system, that’s called advertising and free speech.” YE educators guide students in talking about the original rules, then help them develop an understanding of why free speech is important in business. “When we play PIT, we can talk about all of these things, including history, philosophy and business, all at the same time, literally around a deck of cards.”
Implementing PIT, which is essentially a fast-paced card game designed to simulate open outcry bidding for commodities, is fun and easy. Again, a wealth of free resources are available to educators. 

A quick discussion with students following an activity helps bring everything into focus. Take a moment to review this video on coordinating a debrief with students and guiding a discussion on the Foundational Values at play.

The YE experiential model gives students confidence in themselves, knowing that they can go out and be successful, no matter what they decide to do. “We’re absolutely about helping students start businesses,” Jon says. “But starting their own business is just a part of what entrepreneurship is about. Entrepreneurship means taking charge of your life and of your destiny. We’re not only building businesses, we’re building people.” 

Looking for more activities and resources for students? YE Academy offers free innovative learning resources rooted in eight Foundational Values to engage your students and transform your classroom.