Educating future citizens of Crete on sustainable water practices through Zero Drop’s “snakes and ladders” game

A specially designed “snakes and ladders” water conservation game developed within GWP-Med’s Zero Drop program, funded by The Coca Cola Foundation, reaches all schoolchildren in Heraklion, Crete.

Based on the principles of experiential learning, the educational “snakes and ladders” water saving game was developed within the Zero Drop program to support teachers’ efforts to explain complex issues related to water management and ultimately teach children practical tips on water sustainability in an entertaining way. Through the Zero Drop program, the game will be donated to all primary and secondary schools in the Municipality of Heraklion, a total of nearly 100 schools.

The popular"snakes and ladders" game has been adapted to a floor game on water that an entire classroom can play.  

The Zero Drop water resources program, funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation and implemented by GWP-Med is applying water saving technical solutions in areas facing intense water scarcity, while raising awareness and building capacities to better manage and conserve water resources. Through customized technical interventions, capacity building activities and a package of school interventions including teachers’ training programs and specially designed educational material, the program aims to address local needs and engage communities and future generations in adopting sustainable water management practices.  

The game is designed for shoolchildren of the primary and secondary education whereby they have to answer questions such as "what percentage of the earth is covered with freshwater?"

To this end, in May 2023, Zero Drop Heraklion applied technical interventions at Profitis Ilias and Voutes two agricultural communities in Heraklion, Crete saving a total of 12,000,000 litres of water annually. In these communities, frequent leaks produced considerable water losses and prompted producers to pump groundwater from the limited aquifer, at considerable energy cost. Zero Drop program installed new piping for Profitis Ilias and upgraded the equipment of two major pumping stations in Voutes, resulting in energy and water savings benefiting farmers and the communities. Moreover, in collaboration with the municipality, the program implemented a number of capacity building activities with experts sharing experiences on applied innovations as well as educational activities to the local school community.

On 28 November 2023, GWP-Med together with the MEdIES network of MIO-ECSDE, organised a seminar for primary and secondary educators to inform them on Zero Drop’s mission and demonstrate the “snakes and ladders” water-saving game which is being distributed to their schools. The game has been developed for the participation of an entire classroom and engages children in meaningful learning through hands-on experience. Throughout the game, they are encouraged to compete and test theirknowledge on water issues by answering questions such as “what percentage of the earth is covered with freshwater?” and “which is the biggest consumer of water in the house”? It also aims to teach kids some useful water saving tips that they can easily learn and ultimately apply in their household.

Instead of "ladders and snakes", the children encounter tires and water pipes. Players have to answer a series of questions on water. 

The teachers who participated in the seminar enjoyed playing the game and confirmed that it was both educative and entertaining. They expressed the view that it was suitable for children over 10 years old, while preschool teachers commented that with minor adjustments it could also be used for toddlers.