For a few years now, Minecraft Education has been periodically launching large projects aimed at virtually recreating environments, historical places or contemporary cities. This time, students in Manitoba are invited to explore and reinvent the city of Winnipeg using Minecraft. This is what we learn in an article from CTV News (in English) summarized here.
Winnipeg is one of the Canadian cities with the highest crime rate. Its downtown area has to deal with many challenges such as overpopulation, poverty and pollution. When Microsoft proposed to the Winnipeg city authorities as well as to the leaders of the province's school divisions to collaborate on a virtual city project on Minecraft, they didn't hesitate.
Thus, the Level Up: Winnipeg project will offer, as of spring 2023, a faithful recreation of the downtown area created using Minecraft. Young people will be able to walk around, visit historic sites or public buildings, meet citizens or even talk to Winnipeggers who wrote the history of the city. This is a tool with unlimited educational potential that will allow teachers in the province to create activities on geography, history, demography and land use, for example.
At the same time, students will be asked to imagine the city of tomorrow by proposing innovative and sustainable solutions to the very real problems faced by certain areas of the city, sometimes involving public transit, real estate development or the lack of green space. They will be able to test their solutions in the virtual environment of Minecraft and measure the impact on the city.
The students will also have the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of experts and the best ideas will be presented to city hall. This is a great example of how citizens of all ages can participate in the sustainable development of their city through the support of a digital tool.