New climate lessons & earth day challenge

12 Apr 2022

Can gaming help you go green? 🌱 When it comes to engaging learners with issues that matter for the planet—things like climate change, biodiversity, and renewable energy—games can be a catalyst for important conversations and testing exciting ideas.

In Microsoft’s 2021 Sustainability Report, Minecraft is recognized as a powerful way for millions of people to play for the planet, learn about critical issues, and build creative solutions. We’re just one part of Xbox’s environmental efforts that include more sustainable materials, less waste, and ongoing reductions in power usage. Learn more about green gaming on the new Xbox sustainability hub.

Lessons, events, and more

To continue engaging students with sustainability and environmental issues, we’re excited to announce new game-based learning experiences just in time for Earth Day!

Starting April 18 and running until Earth Day, April 22, Cobblestone Collective will be running a series of live, co-taught lessons on Climate Futures and how we can work toward a more sustainable world, available for classrooms everywhere. Register for a free virtual event.

We have recently launched a brand-new Climate Futures lesson in partnership with Met Office. In Climate Futures: Transportation, students play the role of investigative journalists on assignment.  Explore different timelines and see the impact our choices of transportation and energy can make on the world, then complete a challenge to build a sustainable vehicle.

Sustainable technologies such as wind turbines and hydropower are demonstrated in Climate Futures

Transportation is just one piece of the puzzle. Dealing with extreme weather events is also becoming increasingly important. An innovative world created by the UK’s Environment Agency in partnership with Microsoft explores the implications of flooding and what we can do to mitigate its effects. Rivercraft is inspired by a real-life flood mitigation scheme on the River Ribble in England, which aims to protect residents from flood risk as it provides environmental benefits.

An instructor leads four students on laptops in the Save the Ocean challenge

Finally, a new build challenge called Save the Ocean created by Workbench offers learners the opportunity to build a vehicle that removes plastics from the world’s oceans. Did you know that scientists predict that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish? Learn about this critical issue through a creative class activity. Here’s the lesson plan.

Worlds of environmental education

In addition to these new opportunities for learning, the Climate and Sustainability Subject Kit contains more than 20 lessons and pre-built worlds that can help you teach your learners about environmental awareness and action with Minecraft: Education Edition.

  • Sustainability City explores energy efficiency, green building, and manufacturing, inspired by Microsoft’s sustainability initiatives.
  • We Are the Rangers puts students in the shoes of a conservation authority to help them learn about preserving wildlife and habitat, created with the Royal Foundation.
  • The Biodiversity lesson pack developed with the WWF outlines the importance of interconnected ecology and the dangers of extinction.
  • The Climate Futures: Farm and Forest lessons explore the impacts of deforestation and agriculture on our planet.
  • Draw inspiration from the Peace with Nature Challenge and encourage your students to design their own solutions for sustainable living.

The open and inventive environment that Minecraft provides can help learners gain a deeper appreciation for our planet and imagine new ways of building and living sustainably. Dive into environmental adventures with Minecraft: Education Edition this Earth Day! Get started here.