Timaru school kids experience Antarctica through Minecraft

Hundreds of Timaru school students are getting the opportunity to experience Antarctica from the comfort of their homes.

They’ve taken plans for the nearly $350 million Scott Base rebuild, which is due to begin in Timaru next year, and recreated their own in Minecraft as a way to build up their digital skills.

“It’s not just building with blocks in Minecraft, it’s using apps to design what the characters look like,” St Andrew’s College digital technology teacher Wilj Dekkers said.

Dekkers said while in the early stages, just two Timaru schools had been set to take part in recreating the research station, “from there it just exploded”.

There are now around nine schools and over 450 students involved in the project, which will be available soon on the global Minecraft website.

Antarctica New Zealand’s Samantha Chapman said the students “are all going to be able to watch” Scott Base’s rebuild “so they will be able to see the base that they’ve been working on get built”.

The students will also be given the opportunity to tour the base after its completion.

“This is a long-term investment for Timaru. It’s going to have such a positive effect on the community,” Dekkers said.

The physical Scott Base building is expected to be completed in four to five years.

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