Lessons in Minecraft to help next generation build the future
More than 400,000 UK construction workers are set to retire between 2018 and 2023 creating an urgent need to attract a new generation of construction professionals.
‘Craft your Future’, developed by the Chartered Institute of Building, is a construction game aimed at 12-14 year olds that takes place in Minecraft. Through it young learners explore the methods and skills to become a construction manager, introducing them to a career in construction.
In a series of four freely available Minecraft Education Lessons, that can be downloaded by teachers anywhere and accessed via the Minecraft Education Platform, students encounter a variety of problems that reflect construction challenges in cities today. The lessons take place in Newtown, a specially created virtual city in Minecraft, to design, plan, collaborate and build solutions that develop a sustainable future for all its citizens. Exercises also include real life scenarios like the challenge of restoring Battersea Power Station.
Bridget Bartlett deputy chief executive at the CIOB said: “Combining Minecraft and a thorough curriculum for the teacher makes for a unique and immersive experience and will help reveal why the industry is important and why a career in construction can be so rewarding. There are 70 million people playing Minecraft and just like Lego it has the capacity to inspire and attract a new wave of construction managers into an ever-increasing digital industry.
“What is exciting is that these young learners will not only have fun but also develop their communication, team working and mathematics skills; skills that construction has a high demand for. The lessons are designed to be teacher friendly and we hope construction employers will also want to use them in schools as they bid to switch the next generation onto a career in construction.”
Minecraft is being successfully used in schools to teach computer science programming, chemistry, physics, architecture and even introducing some of the world’s most famous artists to young people through games like Tate Worlds by the Tate.
Such is the impact of Minecraft Education in March 2015 it was announced by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure that it will provide free licenses to over 200 schools (circa 50,000 school children), and 30 libraries in Northern Ireland to inspire creative writing and engage young people in city planning.
Working with The Gameworkshop from Denmark and the Danish Architecture Centre each CIOB lesson runs between 3 – 6 hours where groups of students usually in teams of 3 or 4 collaborate across the lessons. The lessons cover 4 areas of construction, maintenance, restoration, new build and refurbishment.
Speaking about the lessons Pia Rost Rasmussen from the Danish Architecture Centre said: “These lessons will teach young learners about the importance of architecture, building and city planning and inspire them to engage with the built environment – both as future professionals but foremost as citizens who have a role to play in how our common environment is shaped to fit society’s needs.”
To see the video of the project and to read all the supporting information about the lessons please go to http://ciobmc.org.
Chris Blythe has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Wolverhampton and is now an Honorary Doctor of Professional Practice.
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