Student Simulation Competition

Wildfire Simulation


NASPAA is pleased to officially announce the 2023 Student Simulation Competition, which will take place in late February and early March and feature the Forio Wildfire Simulation designed by Professor Matt Koschmann of the University of Colorado Boulder. The simulation competition will teach players communication and negotiation skills as they balance their roles against their team goals to collaborate on a joint wildfire mitigation plan for the fictional town of Westmount. In addition, as part of NASPAA's initiative to improve how we embody diversity, equity, and inclusion as an organization and as an essential part of public service education; NASPAA is working with Forio to update the simulation to incorporate DEI facets of wildfire mitigation and public service decision-making as core elements of the learning experience.

The simulation competition is a full-day event taking place on a Saturday in late February or early March 2023. The event will follow a hybrid format. Most competitors will be participating in person, but there will be an opportunity for some students to attend virtually. The competition will once again include guest judges from various public service fields. This year we will also be featuring sponsorship opportunities to support student travel and our efforts to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion elements into the competition experience and into the simulation itself.

If you are interested in hosting the competition at your school, becoming a sponsor, becoming a judge, or just learning more about the competition, please contact Alex Minkoff at and Stacy Drudy at

Becoming a Sim Host

NASPAA is seeking enthusiastic member schools to serve as host sites for the 2023 NASPAA Global Student Simulation Competition. Host sites have the opportunity to create a meaningful, educational and exciting day for students from around the world as they compete and network in an immersive learning event while using a computer simulation designed for public service education.

If you are interested in hosting, please submit a brief proposal to Alex Minkoff at by September 12th, 2022.

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?

The host site will receive the following opportunities and benefits:

  • Facilitating student learning.
  • Participating in a fun and exciting competition experience.
  • Introducing your faculty to simulation education.
  • Receiving external visibility through pre-event and post-event recognition in regional and national press releases, newsletters, and on the NASPAA website.
  • Having a key role in inspiring and teaching the next generation of public service professionals.

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.

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!