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ICE CityZen crowned best learning game at Learning Technologies Awards 2023

20 November 2023

The ICE’s digital game was praised for inspiring its young target audience to become interested in civil engineering.

ICE CityZen crowned best learning game at Learning Technologies Awards 2023
The ICE CityZen team was presented the award by comedian Rob Beckett. Image credit: Dylan Roberts

ICE CityZen, a fusion of a digital game, insight into STEM topics and skills development, has been named the best learning game at the Learning Technologies Awards 2023, in partnership with developers Make Real Ltd.

The game element of ICE CityZen helps engage students aged 16-18 with the scope and value of civil engineering.

It also helps develop important skills for work and study, such as problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking and communication.

The judges praised the ICE CityZen game for being “a beautifully integrated and coherent game that truly inspires its young target audience to become interested in civil engineering”.

The shortlist for the Best Learning Game Award was made up of ten nominees, including CityZen.

In second place was Invesco QQQ’s financial education learning game and in third place, SiyonaTech AG/Swiss Re Ownership Mindset Game.

The award winners were announced by comedian Rob Beckett at a ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel in London.

The award-winning ICE CityZen game

ICE CityZen is based on real life scenarios that were devised by a dedicated working group of ICE member volunteers. These include:

  • Helen Littler, associate at WSP in the UK
  • Carlos Rojao, project structural engineer at Design ID Consulting Limited
  • Tim Hou, civil engineer at Mott MacDonald
  • Paul Remblance, assistant engineer at Milestone Infrastructure Services
  • Angus MacGregor, business development manager at BAM Richies,
  • Amy Wright, senior civil and infrastructure engineer at Design ID Consulting Limited

As part of the yearly ICE CityZen Award, students who complete the digital game are invited to create a video to pitch a civil engineering solution to a local issue that showcases their learnings from the game.

To date, it has produced a wealth of impressive and creative content.

Teams from schools and colleges across the UK are supported by ICE STEM Ambassadors during the award.

Learning to make ‘good’ design decisions

ICE CityZen had a great impact on civil engineering student and ICE QUEST scholar Joseph Dixon, who took part in 2021.

He said, “I loved the real examples of decisions that civil engineers get to make every day.

“I was particularly surprised by how closely intertwined the gameplay was with my geography lessons in how big a role human experience plays in a ‘good’ design decision.”

Tim Powell-Jones, principal immersive learning designer at Make Real Ltd said, “For me the best thing about CityZen was working so closely with the people who are going to be playing it – prototyping with teachers and students to make sure that everything works and is actually fun, hearing the discussions the game starts, and then seeing the brilliant videos that students make.”

Finding joy and inspiration in civil engineering

Sean Harris, ICE deputy director general and director of membership at the ICE said: “We are thrilled to see ICE CityZen recognised at the Learning Technologies Awards.

“This achievement reflects our commitment to making learning engaging and relevant in the digital age.

“ICE CityZen is not just a game; it’s a testament to the power of innovation and technology in reshaping educational experiences.

“This award highlights our dedication to fostering a new generation of engineers who not only grasp essential skills but also find joy and inspiration in the process.

“We extend our gratitude to the Learning Technologies Awards for acknowledging the transformative impact of the ICE CityZen game on the educational landscape.”

The ICE extends its thanks to the family of ICE member David Butler for the generous bequest which enabled the creation of the ICE CityZen game.

The ICE is also grateful for the support of competition partners JBA Trust and Loud Speaker.

The success of the ICE CityZen game has led to a standalone mini-CityZen challenge being created for all audiences to enjoy – you can find the ICE CityZen: Pollution Control game in the ICE Inspire virtual careers centre.

Get involved

Schools and ICE STEM Ambassadors can register their interest in taking part in the 2024 ICE CityZen Award.

Become or renew your STEM ambassador registration to take part in CityZen and other ICE education and inspiration activities.

Find out more about ICE’s education and inspiration resources.

  • Fatima Uddin, membership marketing executive at Institution of Civil Engineers