UK students can test their green skills and learn about the challenges of planning offshore wind farms and protecting the marine environment with the help of new Minecraft Education world, ‘Offshore Wind Power Challenge’.

They can also learn about conservation and ecology through a second world based at Windsor Great Park.

The worlds, which launched in September, are part of a sustainability education initiative by The Crown Estate and Microsoft UK, which aims to inspire primary and secondary school students to grow their knowledge and skills around climate change and the natural environment, and to consider careers in areas such as sustainability and conservation.

The partnership introduces students to the world of offshore wind, making important subject material accessible to a broader and younger audience, and allowing them to engage with challenges through immersive and interactive game-based learning.

Minecraft, created by Mojang Studios, is the best-selling game of all time, with over 140 million monthly active users in 112 countries and it’s especially popular with younger players. Minecraft Education provides educational content for schools globally where students can learn about a wide variety of subjects via creative gameplay.

The initiative includes two new worlds created for Minecraft Education, each with supporting lesson plans and teaching materials aligned with the curriculums 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 the ‘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 habitats.

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.

Judith Everett, from The Crown Estate, said: “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.”

Justin Edwards, of Minecraft Education, added: “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. This partnership is an important part of that mission.

“It follows previous collaborations with the UK Environment Agency 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!”farm engineers or nature conservationists!”

thecrownestate.co.uk

microsoft.com