Sim City and other simulation titles

Maxis (now Electronic Arts) pioneered environmental simulation software for students. The series includes SimEarth, SimCity and, recently, the Sims (probably not appropriate for students).

Each involves constructing a place from scratch with a toolbox of buildings, natural features and roles of inhabitants. As the site grows, student strike a balance between a healthy environment and its citizens’ needs. The simulations dramatically illustrate the relationship between cause and effect. For example, the absence of sufficient water supplies or electrical power can doom your city.

All in all, such cool and fun games can stimulate never-ending research projects.