The researchers are the most numerous players in this scenario activity.
The researchers are members of different professional associations, referred to as Social Science Disciplines:
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
The researchers are expected to think and act their way to winning the funds needed to complete their team’s research proposal. Each discipline team prepares a research proposal on the assigned topic and presents it to the Judges during the GAME PLAY, an in-class contest. Depending on class size and the number of disciplines selected, there will be between two and five members in each discipline team.
The judges will determine the funding criteria and dispersals for the $1,000,000 available in research funds to the Researchers.
The Judges make up the fictional Research Council that resembles the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
The Judges set the stage for a healthy contest among the Researchers who are organized into separate social science discipline teams (i.e., psychology, geography, political science, etc.).
The Judges establish the criteria for granting the $1,000,000 in funds, host the finding competition proceedings and decide which discipline receives what amount.
The Researchers must demonstrate to the Judges that their research proposals are worthy of being funded.
In this role-play scenario, the two Journalists are specialists who cover scientific affairs for a number of reputable Canadian newspapers and magazines. One of them is a gifted photographer.
Specially invited by the Research Council Judges, the Journalists keep a watchful eye on the professional propriety of the Judges and the Researchers, especially when the competition heats up.
The Journalists pose questions during the Q & A period and cover the competition event in a News Report that is released a week after the GAME PLAY. Photos may appear in this in-class publication.
One other player, the General Public demonstrates non-scientific ways of thinking in this role-play scenario.
Instead of thinking scientifically, the General Public thinks in a more practical and commonsensical manner. In its most stereotypical form, the General Public makes hastily drawn conclusions based on limited information coming from such sources as common myths and conceptions, popular media, traditional authority and/or personal anecdotal experience.
Specially invited by the Research Council Judges, the General Public challenges the Researchers to provide cost-efficient and practical research solutions to the problems identified on the assigned topic.
At the commencement of the Fund$ Game, the General Public delivers an opening speech outlining the conventional wisdom regarding research on the assigned topic. The game closes with the General Public reflecting on the extent to which the Judges’ allocation of funds to the discipline groups accords with their own typically non-scientific ways of thinking.
As a Teacher, you direct your students through an in-class role-play scenario about a social science research funding competition across the disciplines. You assign a topic, set the assignment parameters and watch as your students use role-play scripts to act the parts of researchers, judges, journalists and the general public. Finally, you evaluate the meaningful learning that takes place and benefit from the support materials provided on this website.
No matter how many times you play this game, it is always unique and always has its own dynamics and characters.