Spark learning with renewable energy lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition for Earth Day

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and its theme of Climate Action, Minecraft has teamed up with EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s largest sustainable energy innovation engine, and the Minecraft creators at Blockworks to bring the Lumen City Challenge and Lumen Power Challenge to Minecraft: Education Edition!

Cities and towns around the world are investing in renewable energy to build climate resilience and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. These two lessons and immersive worlds encourage students to explore different energy sources, solve a town’s power problems, and design and manage a sustainable city – all in Minecraft.

Explore at home or school

For students learning from home during coronavirus-related school closures, the Lumen City Challenge and Lumen Power Challenge provide a fun way to bring Earth Day into the virtual classroom or home learning environment.

These challenges are available for free for both Minecraft: Education Edition users and Minecraft Bedrock players. Educators and students with Minecraft: Education Edition can access the Lumen Challenges in the in-game lesson library. Learn how to access Minecraft: Education Edition with a valid O365 EDU accounts here. Minecraft Bedrock players can download the maps from the in-game store where they are available for free through June 2020.

Lumen City Challenge

The Lumen City Challenge immerses students in a city where they’re responsible for selecting energy resources as they manage cost, revenue, pollution, and the happiness of their citizens. They can choose cleaner alternatives like solar, hydroelectric, and wind power, or from less expensive but environmentally damaging options. They provide for their citizens by building residences, commercial enterprises, and recreational space. There’s even a tax system that students use to budget their civic improvements!

This information is tracked at the town center, where live statistics help learners monitor the health of their city and respond to shortages. It’s a matter of balance as players try to create a community that works in harmony with its people, economy, and the environment, all while exploring a sprawling, beautifully designed city with unique structures and imaginative urban spaces around every corner.

Lumen city in Minecraft

As students try to build their ideal city, they learn valuable lessons about what constitutes renewable and non-renewable energy, the challenges of energy storage, and the delicate balance between cost, power output, and pollution. Through this project, learners will come to understand the effects of energy sources on the world around them and build a deeper appreciation for the difficulty of managing our cities and towns.

Lumen Power Challenge

In the Lumen Power Challenge, players can explore a town with an energy infrastructure in need of maintenance, then get to work repairing it. Students encounter damaged offshore wind turbines, rooftop solar panels that require repairs, an ailing nuclear reactor, a hydroelectric dam experiencing a blockage, and an off-grid house that needs a fuel top-up.

Whether students are navigating the inner workings of a nuclear reactor or flying to the top of a wind turbine, each of these environments challenges them to learn about the strengths and weaknesses associated with different power sources.

Lumen power challenge

Learners will tackle important questions about energy production. Where does the electricity we use come from? What are the challenges and problems associated with these energy sources? How do we define renewable energy? What is the energy transition, and how can communities act? This massive Minecraft environment will help you address ideas about power generation and what it means to be part of a sustainable society.

These worlds were originally created for the Lumen project by EIT InnoEnergy, an education program that provides engaging activities and curriculum to teach young people the fundamental concepts of energy and electricity. The energy sector is growing rapidly in areas like smart cities, renewable energy and clean fossil fuels with skills like engineering, coding, and green architecture in demand.

For more Minecraft: Education Edition lessons and activities to celebrate Earth Day and learn about sustainability and the environment, visit education.minecraft.net/earth-day.