Student Simulation Competition

NASPAA's Simulation Competition: An opportunity for students to network, compete, and learn through experience.

NASPAA Student Simulation Competition Program

The NASPAA Simulation Competition is an annual event in which students from around the world learn through experience in a unique, innovative learning opportunity. Students will connect classroom theory to practice by taking on real-world challenges in real time to achieve skills that will prepare them for their roles as future public service professionals. The learning objectives of the simulation competitions will focus more on aligning with NASPAA's universal competencies, especially with regard to teaching students about the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in public service.

The new and enhanced simulation competition will allow us to more effectively meet NASPAA's mission of ensuring excellence in education and training for public service and promoting the ideal of public service. The new simulation competition will be revamped and reoriented to focus even more on the students, their professional development, their ability to communicate big ideas with other students from all over the world, their unique teaching and learning opportunities, and how they will take these new skills and experiences into their future roles as public service providers.

For more information about the competition, or if you are interested in supporting the program by becoming a future simulation education committee member, please contact Alex Minkoff at or Stacy Drudy at

Becoming a Sim Host

The host site application window for the 2023 wildfire simulation competition is now closed

The 2023 simulation host site application window is now closed.

Future simulation competition host sites will need to address the following criteria:

  1. Location: Where is your campus located? What options are there locally for dining and entertainment? What are the local lodging options and room rates? Please specify how close the lodging accommodations are to the competition site and if they are walkable. If outside of the United States, please list the visa requirements for students traveling from other countries.
  2. School/Facilities: What event facilities do you have available for the meeting room? Are you willing to donate technical staff time and campus resources in kind, including A/V equipment? 
  3. Staffing: Who will be the on-site host leader? Who will be the on-site technical support? Both will need to be present for the entirety of the competition event. Will there be other support staff available?
  4. Safety and Hybrid Options: There is a likelihood that we will still need to take COVID precautions. How will your school be able to accommodate safety and sanitation?

Host sites receive the following opportunities and benefits:

  • The ability to participate in a fun and exciting competition experience;
  • Introduce your faculty to simulation education;
  • Inspiring and teaching the next generation of public service professionals;
  • Facilitate student learning with an educational simulation that teaches communication, negotiation, teamwork, and critical thinking skills and challenges students to understand and respond to the diversity, equity, and inclusion facets of wildfire mitigation;
  • Receive external visibility through pre-event and post-event recognition in regional and national press releases, newsletters, and on the NASPAA website;
  • Pre-event recognition at the NASPAA Annual Conference in Chicago;
  • Recognition in the competition Flipbook program;
  • Opportunity to build faculty expertise in simulation pedagogy;
  • Opportunity to learn how to use sophisticated simulation approaches in the classroom;  
  • Opportunity to engage alumni as judges, volunteers, or contributors to the competition;
  • Opportunity to showcase your school to students and judges from the region.

Each host school plays a key role in ensuring competition success. While the NASPAA team handles most of the planning and coordination, some of the event logistics are determined by the host school. Most of the required time commitments for planning will occur in January and February 2023. 

On-Site Leader: The site leader acts as the liaison between the hosting institution and the on-site competition leader from NASPAA. They will be the main point of contact for NASPAA and will oversee site logistics. They will be an event leader and will be involved in event planning.

On-Site Technical Support: This person will be the on-site technical expert during the competition to assist with the classroom Wi-Fi and projector/TV as needed.

Facilities and Catering: The host site provides classrooms and an event room with a projector or TV. The site host organizes a welcome reception on the Friday night before the competition. NOTE: A Certificate of Liquor Liability Insurance must be provided if alcohol is served. During the competition day, the host provides coffee and water, some light breakfast options, lunch, and some late afternoon snacks. Host sites can also have an informal celebration after the competition concludes but this is optional.

Learn More

Sim 2020

Why Simulations?

Participatory simulations are immersive, experiential learning tools that provide a bridge between classroom learning and real-world application.


Past Competitions

Find out more about our Past Competitions

Check out the new JPAE Article on Sim Education!