Dear Reader. If you have ever had to capture the attention of a 12 year old you’ll know that it can be as slippery as an eel that has covered itself in grease and rolled itself in oil. So when construction turns up to a careers fair with a bunch of flyers and a few mini spirit levels to give away its fair to say we are probably not going to stick in their mind.
How can we possibly compete with the excitement of new IT gadgetry or the latest design trends out there? Wait a minute. What am I saying? We are talking about the same industry that builds higher, further and with more technology and big toys than you can shake a stick at. Of course we can – but we have to be just as imaginative in the way we describe a career as the way we build buildings.
There are 70 million users currently playing Minecraft - a game about placing blocks and building amazing things. Over the last few years the CIOB has utilised Minecraft to attract young people into the narrative of construction. Now we are taking this to a new level, not just asking them to show us what they can do but to interject construction’s own story and knowledge into their gameplay.
Developing Lesson’s in Minecraft Edu (the education version of the game) is not new. Organisations like the Tate have been using it to introduce art history into the curriculum, and there are even lessons that teach students about molecules and atoms.
Craft Your Future is a 4 lesson programme, each about 4 hours long, aimed at 12-14 years old that develops communication, collaboration, math and architecture skills and imparts themes like restoration, renovation, maintenance and new build. All against a background of sustainability and citizenship. They are free and universal, designed to be taught by anyone anywhere.
These lessons are about reaching into an eager mind with an immersive learning experience. Going into a world where young people already show an interest for building. Gaming technology and virtual reality might just be what construction has always needed - a way to truly show off constructions finest features. No piece of paper could ever do that.
Watch the CIOB lessons experience and teach them yourself at http://ciobmc.org