Students Compete to Stop the Next Pandemic

Feb 23, 2018

Students Compete to Stop the Next Pandemic

Courtesy: NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. Delaware Valley University is a host site for a global health simulation contest.

The 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition at Delaware Valley University today is canceled due to weather-related issues. 

On March 3, Delaware Valley University will host graduate students from five universities to participate in the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. This year’s competition—a partnership between the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)—will connect more than 550 students from 16 host sites around the globe through competitive, computer-based simulated gameplay. Developed by experts at the Batten School’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) who utilized extensive real-world data, scientific modeling, and educational learning objectives, the simulation places students in leadership roles within a time-sensitive, fast-paced environment where they must work together to minimize the impact of a deadly infectious disease threatening humanity. 

“We are thrilled to launch this data-driven tool to provide the next generation of policymakers with realistic, experiential and fun learning environments,” said CLSG Director Noah Myung. “State-of-the-art simulations like this one accelerate students’ ability to make an instant impact—both in leadership positions and team settings—when they enter the workforce.”

Throughout the day, students will work in teams representing countries and assume a variety of high-ranking roles, from Prime Minister to Minister of Public Health, as they navigate difficult policy decisions and their potential outcomes. Their decisions will not only impact national mortality rates, economies, and legitimacy of governance, but also global stability. Will students close international borders, mandate quarantines, or cancel the national festival? Will their actions stay in budget, maintain rule of law and most importantly, save lives? Teams will be evaluated on simulation scores, negotiation skills, and written and oral presentations made to regional site judges. A panel of prominent “super judges” will determine the global winner. The CLSG is contributing $10,000 USD in prize money where each member of the winning team will receive $1,500 USD and students in second place will receive $500 USD each.

“Simulation-based learning is an incredibly valuable tool, offering some of the most exciting, intense, and impactful learning on the planet for public affairs education,” said NASPAA Executive Director Laurel McFarland. “In the classroom, our graduate students have been trained to be problem solvers, team players, and analysts— these simulations enhance students’ abilities to tackle complex policy problems they may face in the real world. They'll be ready for the next global pandemic-- or for whatever crisis they might face in their public service careers.”