Turn off monsters, natural disasters, and alien invasions, and you are left with an almost realistic simulation of the growth of a city. The teacher sets parameters of the computer work. The purpose is not to entertain; it is to educate. No King Kong or Michelin Man will trounce the struggling city, but student-mayors will have to deal with the real horrors of overspending, underfunding, imbalanced budgets, and mistakes in civil engineering. It will still be loads of fun.
Knowing they must find a way to make the city prosper, the students take the job of autonomous mayor as a responsibility of major proportions. With clipboards in hand, they strive to master the vocabulary and get to know the idiosyncrasies of the populace. As they concentrate on helping their cities grow, students develop a sense of stewardship. Progress depends upon the planning and choices they make.
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