How Minecraft is helping kids combat climate change with games

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How Minecraft is helping kids combat climate change with games

Students in classrooms all over the globe are being taught climate change and how it is impacting their environment – deforestation, melting glaciers, population growth, etc. However, for some children, these events are terrifying to even imagine.

The challenge then becomes how to teach them about these things in ways that are relatable to them and less terrifying.

Well, what better way to convey the severity of climate change than video games? Minecraft is championing this cause by leveraging games to portray climate change effects and giving kids the means to overcome the challenges along the way.

Despite having been used as an educational tool for a while now — Minecraft Education was published on Nov. 1, 2016, and the NSW Department of Education has since provided free access to Minecraft: Education Edition to all NSW Government schools — the game is starting to shine even more brightly as a resource for educating students on the issue of climate change.

From smaller-scale issues like city planning through to natural disaster preparation, these lessons enable students to think critically and use visual representations in Minecraft to better understand the reality of climate change.

In accordance with the New South Wales Education Standards Authority, key curriculum outcomes are top of mind. Minecraft is helping take students who struggled to hit high-level learning standards and providing them with a visual reference and a playground to experiment.

This in turn helps students to achieve top-level results that they may not have otherwise been able to reach. It especially makes a difference for students who learn best kinesthetically or visually.

In addition to that, Minecraft helps students learn soft skills as well as hard facts.

With an increased focus on soft skills in the classroom – such as collaboration, conflict resolution, high-order thinking, and self-control – it also opens students up to an environment where they can make mistakes without facing real-world consequences.

This also means that teachers can have a conversation with students about the difference between the online world and the real world.

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