Published 2 months ago.
About a 5 minute read.
The companies have collaborated on two new worlds aimed at engaging students on issues related to climate change and biodiversity; and to consider careers in areas such as engineering, sustainability and conservation.
Students across the UK will soon have the opportunity to test their
sustainability know-how and learn more about the challenges of planning offshore
wind farms and protecting the marine environment in a new Minecraft
Education world called “Offshore Wind
Power Challenge.” They will also learn about conservation and ecology through
a second world based on the iconic Windsor Great
The worlds are part of a sustainability education initiative being launched by
aimed at inspiring and engaging primary and senior school students to grow their
knowledge and skills around climate change and the natural environment; and to
consider careers in areas such as engineering, sustainability and conservation.
The partnership exposes more students to the growing world of offshore wind —
making important subject material accessible to a broader and younger audience
and allowing them to engage with exciting new challenges through immersive,
interactive game-based learning.
Image credit: Minecraft Education
With over 140 million monthly active users in 112 countries, Minecraft is the
best-selling game of all time — and is especially popular with younger players.
provides educational content for schools globally where students can learn about
a wide variety of subjects via creative gameplay. The team at Minecraft creator
believes it has a responsibility to use Minecraft to build a better world and
inspire generations of game changers, especially around themes of global
citizenship and sustainability.
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“We’re committed to making a better world through the power of play; and it’s
never been more important to educate and inspire players everywhere, across all
devices, about the effects of climate change,” says Justin
Edwards, Director of Learning
Experiences for Minecraft Education. “This partnership is an important part of
that mission. It follows previous collaborations with the UK Environment
and BBC Studios’ ‘Frozen Planet
II.’ I believe
that these Minecraft worlds could well usher in the next generation of wind farm
engineers or nature conservationists!”
Microsoft and The Crown Estate are the latest companies heading to the metaverse
to engage gamers on various sustainability topics, joining companies including
H&M and McCain Foods — which have created games in the metaverse to
engage players on the principles and importance of circular
respectively. Their joint initiative includes two new worlds created for
Minecraft Education, each with supporting lesson plans and teaching materials
aligned with the curriculum in each of the UK’s devolved nations. The worlds are
also due to be released on Minecraft Bedrock Edition later this year, as
will Welsh language versions of the two worlds.
In “Offshore Wind Power Challenge,” students will see if they can power a
coastal village by designing and building an offshore wind farm. In doing so,
they will have to navigate the need to produce renewable energy, whilst
balancing the needs of all other marine users — including the impact on natural
The second world, based on Windsor Great Park, gives students the chance to be a
conservation apprentice at one of the UK’s most renowned environmental and
ecological sites. The park, which has a history stretching back over 1,000
years, is home to thousands of species of wildlife spanning approximately 4,500
acres. Students will have a unique opportunity to manage the ecological health
of the historic park through the immersive world of Minecraft by completing a
series of quests to learn about the water cycle, the aquatic food chain,
conservation and environmental management.
“This is a fabulous opportunity to team up with Microsoft and share worlds with
young people to gain insights and deepen their understanding of the urgent and
complex challenges of climate change and nature protection,” says Judith
Everett, The Crown Estate’s
Executive Director for Purpose, Stakeholder and Sustainability. “At The Crown
Estate, we are fortunate to be stewards of some of the UK’s most incredible
natural environments — including the seabed and Windsor Great Park. One of our
key roles is to manage the demands of today, whilst protecting the natural
environment for the long term. By recreating these worlds in Minecraft, we are
giving students and teachers a safe and fun way to experience some of the
opportunities and challenges involved in managing the transition to net zero and
protecting our natural habitats. We hope this will help to inspire the next
generation to develop their skills and passion in these areas and introduce some
of the ‘green’ career opportunities that the UK increasingly needs if we are to
achieve a lower-carbon future.”
Judging from the reception from early test groups of
the worlds are connecting as intended: During a lesson with a group of year 8
students, Edwards says they were thoroughly engaged in the challenges: “The
students were so engrossed that there was total silence in the room. To hear the
educator, Tracy, asking questions at the end and for the students to repeat back
confidently the learning, you know that the learning has stuck and they’ve also
enjoyed the experience. That’s what educators want – children to learn and have
Published Sep 29, 2023 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST