How a farming-themed Minecraft game is giving Aylesbury Vale teachers a helping hand

A farming-themed Minecraft game is giving Aylesbury Vale teachers a helping hand to kick-start their New Year lesson plans.

Engineering industry charity Enginuity has launched a vertical farming-themed Skills Miner educational game in line with existing curriculum to inspire students aged 11 to 14 to focus on sustainability and consider innovative and exciting engineering careers.

Enginuity joined forces with experts in industry and education to build a series of Minecraft games in line with existing curriculum and mapped to the Skills Builder Essential Framework and Gatsby benchmarks.

Download resources to engineer your New Year lesson plan

Their free Skills Miner game promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).The available resources harness young people’s love of gaming and it is designed for use during lessons, enrichment, or in after school clubs.

Helenna Vaughan-Smith, senior digital product manager at Enginuity, said: “The game promotes the ‘engineering in everything’ through STEM whilst teaching tomorrow’s engineers the skills needed to solve the challenges already becoming apparent in today’s food industry and champions sustainability throughout.

“We are proud to have created a tool to educate and encourage the engineers of tomorrow. The feedback we have already gained from pupils and teachers has been really positive.”

A class of students aged between 11 and 14 road tested the game at its launch at Smart Factory Expo at Exhibition Centre Liverpool during Digital Manufacturing Week (14 – 18 Nov). Out of the 40 children questioned, 92 per cent felt they had learnt something new, 98.6 per cent wanted to learn more about careers in lesson time and 93 per cent would like to use resources like Skills Miner in lessons more often.

Their awareness of green skills rose with all children knowing nothing or a little, to half of them knowing “quite a lot” and their knowledge of vertical farming rose from knowing nothing or a little to 70 per cent knowing quite a lot or a lot.

Joanne Moran, a teacher at a school who has used the game, said: “I think it’s fantastic. The children know they don’t have to go to a countryside to grow food, they can do it here in the city.

“You put a computer in front of a child now and they are engaged straight away. But if you put a book and paper in front of them, they’ll look at it and not be as engaged.”

The game will inspire pupils and help them to explore hidden exciting jobs, their own skills, hidden talents and interests whilst bettering their career choices.

A year nine student from one school using the game said: “I think it’s really fun! It’s a very cool way of learning new information.

“I think gaming is the way of learning in the future because the world is evolving so much and so fast around technology. Gaming is the way forwards.”

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