Sherwood Park, AB. — Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) students build on their problem-solving skills and unearth future career possibilities in this year’s EIPS Minecraft Design Challenge. Held from January to May, K-12 students from participating schools design an architectural prototype in the game-based learning platform Minecraft.
“I’m excited for the Minecraft Challenge,” says Wyatt Coates, a Grade 2 student at École Campbelltown. “I get to work together with my classmates to build something really neat.”
This challenge’s theme is Build a School, which draws inspiration from the construction of the new Sherwood Heights Junior High replacement. Students are asked to create a scale model of a new K-9 school for up to 1,200 students, and they’re encouraged to consider sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility in their designs.
The challenge runs throughout the second semester, allowing teachers to weave curricular connections from the task into their subject matter. “Students learn so much participating in the Challenge,” says Sydney Munsterman, an educational technology consultant with EIPS. “From computational thinking to innovation, they’re developing lifelong practical skills in an engaging and collaborative environment.”
Within a Minecraft world developed by Logics Academy, student prototypes must also incorporate Alberta Infrastructure standards, LEED criteria and landscaping guidelines. To aid understanding, students will connect to community members who work on designing and building schools in their careers, such as architects, landscapers, LEED specialists and members of the EIPS facilities team.
“We’re so excited to feature experienced professionals from the field,” says Munsterman. “They get to share ideas that students can apply to their prototype while showing students several diverse career pathways available to them—including civil engineering, computer science and interior design.”
At the end of the challenge, a panel of judges will assess the prototypes and a ceremony will be held to announce the winners on May 24. The final three challenge winners will have a chance to present their vision to the EIPS New School Committee to give students an opportunity to share their voice and connect their prototype to the real-world.
“This is our chance to share our ideas,” says Coates. “I can’t wait to get started!”
Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,460 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902