October 9, 2020 | Build Challenge, Minecraft: Education Edition, Pollinators
Our Build Challenge for the month of September invited students to Bee Creative, designing pollinator gardens for bees, the latest mob to be added to Minecraft: Education Edition. Learners were clearly excited about these new creatures, and we received the most entries we’ve ever seen for one challenge. We have an epic lineup for you this month from students around the world. We hope their builds inspire you to try out your own pollinator habitats!
First up, Kamal Preet from India shared her student Simar’s work. You couldn’t ask for a better outline of why pollinators are important. This build features a real learning odyssey, including non-player characters that help explain key concepts and definitions.
Geetika Pant’s team, the Tech Pandas, decided to theme their build after the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #15, the development of social and economic affairs. 16 individual students collaborated on this massive build, and they created an enormous complex with colorful plots and plenty of facts about the industry of agriculture.
In Malaysia, Azrul’s students collaborated within one 45-minute class period to produce an epic pollinator layout that even featured a Redstone-powered minecart track for getting around. They created an especially clever canal system to support easy irrigation.
September Build Challenge: Bee Creative! @PlayCraftLearn 45 minutes collaboration by my students #BuildChallenge #MinecraftEdu pic.twitter.com/9AOctkEc8V— azrul (@azrul8work) September 29, 2020
September Build Challenge: Bee Creative! @PlayCraftLearn 45 minutes collaboration by my students #BuildChallenge #MinecraftEdu pic.twitter.com/9AOctkEc8V
— azrul (@azrul8work) September 29, 2020
Goh Kok Ming’s students are returning contributors from Malaysia, and they built a farm that incorporated automatic honey collection systems powered by Redstone. This build included both indoor and outdoor habitats for bees, displaying modern and more traditional forms of interacting with these keystone pollinators.
We’re always excited to see what Indian Minecraft: Education Edition expert Namya Joshi develops. As always, she focused on the learning opportunities inherent in a Build Challenge. Watch as Namya walks us through the process of asking and answering questions about her busy bees, then shows us the system she’s created. She even discusses more advanced concepts like cross-pollination!
Next up is another Build Challenge veteran from India, Piyush Bhange. He’s taken a natural approach by featuring native flowering plants in an outdoor setting. The biodiversity on display in his build is impressive, and an important reminder that varied ecosystems have a higher chance of success.
In Australia, Kelly Howick’s students set their pollinator garden amid the trees of a forest. It’s quite a sight to part the trees and look out over row upon row of brightly colored flowers as the bees buzz around and accomplish their important work. This build really gives you a sense of how pollinators fit into the natural landscape, even as they perform useful work for people.
4H participated in September's #MinecraftEdu pollinator garden challenge and had a great time designing and creating their gardens #ThisIsBlairmount @Clapturn @tickytecky @standouted pic.twitter.com/sqoHFIvhWw— Kelly Howick (@KellyHowick) September 29, 2020
4H participated in September's #MinecraftEdu pollinator garden challenge and had a great time designing and creating their gardens #ThisIsBlairmount @Clapturn @tickytecky @standouted pic.twitter.com/sqoHFIvhWw
— Kelly Howick (@KellyHowick) September 29, 2020
Back in India, Mrunal Ganjale’s student Avina Shinde put together a full-visibility pollinator habitat optimized for bee health and colony growth. Just look at those numbers!
Gurpreet Sandhu had two students involved in the challenge. Sherlyn’s build takes you on a tour of a bee research facility where you can observe bees doing their important pollination work in small glass compartments featuring informational panels. Meanwhile, Gurmehar’s build involves a cheerful tour around an outdoor facility with hives embedded among the irrigation canals and a truly enormous honeycomb.
Another student in India, Guruman Singh, decided to showcase his build using a Sway. His design not only featured some well-ordered layouts for a pollinator garden, but a massive statue of a bee presiding over the whole operation!
Heading over to Vietnam, Bac Nguyen’s students collaborated to create a glassed-in bee habitat with orderly rows of flowers. It’s delightful to see learners working in harmony, just like bees and the plants they pollinate!
Nisha’s students at STS World School in India also contributed a build. Shehneet’s world featured different enclosures for different plants and even a treehouse. Harsimran’s garden is very structural in nature, created almost entirely of wood to create a well-irrigated, sustainably designed environment. She also included paddocks for other kinds of wildlife. It’s a real self-contained food facility!
Deepak Bhange’s son Punit, also from India, built his pollinator garden around a towering tree where hives are clearly visible. You can also see fires burning within his enclosures. These produce smoke that keeps the bees calm and docile while their beekeepers do their work.
Let’s head stateside! In the USA, Shanon Bourne’s kindergarten-aged daughter Annie was excited to share her build. It’s not every day we see a creation from a student so young, but she clearly has a future in horticulture—as well as a love for pink!
Returning to India, let’s take a look at Shrestha Gupta’s build. This student submission spreads over a wide section of earth in an outdoor space. He included enclosures of different sizes based on crop types and ensured that non-player characters were available to discuss the basics of pollination.
Indian student Varad Hemant Pawar came up with an ingenious design for his pollinator garden, with a vertical orientation for his beehives. This layout helps maximize space while keeping all of his plant enclosures within close buzzing distance of his bees’ homes.
We also had an entry this month from the United Arab Emirates. Naisha Kalpavraksh chose to use the natural world as the setting for her pollinator garden. Her cultivated area is perched amid a grove of evergreen trees, where the bees have made nests beyond her more cultivated hives. It’s a fun lesson in the way that we can support natural ecosystems through responsible agricultural practices.
We’ll return to India one last time on our world tour! Monica Joshi’s student Chinmay Jagga returned to this Build Challenge with his characteristic humor. Unique among our entries this month, Chinmay created his habitat while playing in Survival Mode. This is definitely one of the flashiest farms we’ve seen!
For our final entry from India, Gurdeep Singh’s student Jasjot put together a lovely outdoor garden and walked us through the ways that bees have adapted to help plants grow. He reminds us that the vast majority of our food supply relies on pollinators, especially bees!
Our last stop is Canada, where Kris Sandberg’s students took a real-world experience of finding a bee in the schoolyard and translated it into a Minecraft: Education Edition build. Kris is a big fan of multiplayer Minecraft, so his students worked in the same world, with each realizing their vision of what a pollinator garden can be. Some of his students kept their flowers close to their crops, others planted trees with beehives attached, and some built domes to keep the bees contained. We love seeing inquiry and experimentation in action!
And with that, our world tour of pollinator gardens is complete! We’re thrilled with how students are exploring this fun new addition to Minecraft: Education Edition. If you’d like to see the kinds of learning that are possible with bees, head to our Science Subject Kit to find our Build with Bees lessons created in partnership with the American Beekeeping Federation’s Kids and Bees Program.
This month, we’re running our most epic Build Challenge yet, the Minecraft Education Global Build Championship. Teams of 1–3 students aged 8–18 design spaces where humans and animals can coexist safely and happily. Entries are due November 6, so get started today! Learn more and join the Championship here.
If you’re new to Minecraft: Education Edition, get started at education.minecraft.net.
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