Check out the entries from January’s Build Challenge: Mapping Our World

Last month, our January Build Challenge invited students to create maps in Minecraft: Education Edition. The Mapping Our World challenge inspired creative ideas from students across the globe, resulting in maps of diverse areas like structures, regions, and waterways. Some classrooms used this opportunity to explore pressing global issues like bushfires and deforestation. It was a fantastic display of student creativity and the power of visual representation for engaged learning. Take a look at some of their work and get inspired for your own classroom builds!

Goh Kok Ming’s students shared a truly towering build of their home country of Malaysia, with different colors representing each state. This student selfie captures the build in all its glory!

A Minecraft: Education Edition character stands in front of a giant map of Malaysia

Aliff Othman’s students took up the challenge with a variety of creations, some of them addressing serious ecological issues. One group dove into research and data-science to examine the recent history of bushfires in Australia. They created this map of fires over time.

Three maps of Australia build in Minecraft: Education Edition, showing the progression of bushfires from 2005-2006, 2013-2014. and 2019-2020

His class is clearly passionate about environmental protection. They also decided to track deforestation in Borneo. Their work demonstrates a real understanding of sustainability and a keen interest in preservation.

Maps of Borneo built in Minecraft: Education Edition, showing the progression of deforestation between 1950 and 2020

Other students in Aliff’s class decided to work on a different scale. One student tackled an incredibly detailed map of their school.

A top-down view of a school built in Minecraft: Education Edition

Another created an ingenious map of the Malaysian state of Sabah, which functioned both as an aerial map and a ground-level walking tour with landmarks and informational boards.

Three views of a map of the Malaysian state of Sabah built in Minecraft: Education Edition

Students in Malaysia definitely came out strong for this challenge!

In the US, Liz Bradley’s students took on a variety of builds, including several different land features. They showed plenty of creativity in the diverse ways you can present geographical information.

We also love to see works in progress! Minecraft Global Mentor and trainer Mary Elizabeth Pearson—AKA The Craft-Savvy Teacher—showed us how her students worked with maps of Washington State and Japan to start sketching out their creations.

It was amazing to see the creative directions that students took for this build challenge. Their work demonstrates that even something as simple as a map means different things to students with different learning styles and artistic imaginations.

We can’t wait to see what learners come up with for the February Build Challenge: Block Biography. Students create a quiz on a historical figure, complete with a representation created in Minecraft, whether that’s a statue, a portrait, or a symbol. Then they share their work with their peers. Learn how your class can take part in the challenge!

If you’re new to Minecraft: Education Edition and want to get started, head to education.minecraft.net to learn more.