Green Machine: A Card Game Introducing Students to Systems Thinking in Green Chemistry by Strategizing the Creation of a Recycling Plant

Jonathan L. Miller, Michael T. Wentzel, James H. Clark, Glenn A. Hurst*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Green Machine is a competitive strategy card game facilitating a systems thinking approach to learning recycling processes and green chemistry in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Players compete to be the first to be able to launch their recycling plant by collecting a series of playing cards. Players must use interpersonal skills to consider the interconnected systems while showing an appreciation for commercial awareness and versatility, as dynamic problem solving (reflecting real-world scenarios) is required to play the game successfully. The card game was implemented with 19 U.K. graduate students and 29 U.S. second-year undergraduate students. Survey feedback showed that Green Machine was an innovative resource that was enjoyable to play and engaged students in learning recycling processes through systems thinking. On the basis of pre- and post-test questions to evaluate learning gain, Green Machine is a helpful resource to introduce students not only to green chemistry and sustainability but also to taking a systems thinking approach to learning. ©

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.


  • Chemical Engineering
  • Collaborative/Cooperative Learning
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Graduate Education/Research
  • Green Chemistry
  • Humor/Puzzles/Games
  • Second-Year Undergraduate
  • Sustainability
  • Systems Thinking

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