After months of intense planning, Lancaster University’s inaugural Minecraft Day event ran on Monday – to resounding success. Sally and James led a funding bid for the idea of bringing together research from around the university that uses Minecraft in some capacity, and bringing in pupils from a wide range of schools in the area, in order to demonstrate how fun and creative our resources can be. Also to make local schools aware of the support and projects we would like to provide them – the communication of which is always a tricky aspect. 4 separate project sessions, 80 children, and representatives from several potential partners… so much could have gone arwy, but the day ran smoothly, to everyone’s delight.
We provided a great range of projects, from Science Hunters exploring geothermal physics (and how they correspond to their in-game counterparts), Sarah Twiggs running narrative coding around stories using MC elements, Chris Dixon running a range of things around the measuring and design of the buildings and space ISS’s scaled campus map , and – of course – our very own Litcraft. Several iterations of Minecraft featured, including Education Edition and the Oculus Rift version, providing new experiences aplenty for everyone involved.
Feedback was resoundingly positive across the board (the teachers were as fascinated with the ideas as much as the children), and many schools are now interested in working with us all further. Exactly the intent of the HEIF funding that allowed us to run the event – this would not have been possible without their support.
Likewise, the day wouldn’t have run anywhere near as smoothly without the tireless support of Dawn Stobbart and all the assistants involved, on both the individual projects and the English student helpers attached to each grouping. And no-one ended up in the moat with the ducks! (well, James very almost did when taking down the banners, but that’s par for the course really…)
Here’s hoping for an even bigger and better still event next year!