Highlights from the June Monthly Student Challenge: A Case for Biodiversity
Last month for our Global Student Build Challenge, we invited students to explore the delicate balance of ecosystems in Minecraft: Education Edition. Participants were encouraged to build an aquatic or terrestrial ecosystem including plant and animal species, then rebuild the area to illustrate how it would be affected by the extinction of one critical species. Thank you to everyone who participated!
Highlights from the June Global Student Build Challenge
Students from @StAnthonytcdsb exploring biodiversity using @PlayCraftLearn – Thanks to @cathymai for connecting with @MicrosoftEduCA to make this wonderful learning opportunity happen for her students #tcdsb21c #MinecraftEdu pic.twitter.com/Z1yxGuXl4D
— Mario Stamegna (@stamegna21c) June 21, 2019
Using #MinecraftEdu global challenge today to learn about A Case For Biodiversity. Ss learn about animals and biomes from #NatGeoKids and then recreate and report using the camera, book and quill, and portfolio. #EdTechOB #MIEExpert #NatGeoCertifiedEducator #HPTeachingFellow pic.twitter.com/0h02x3icPG
— James Yanuzzelli (@MrYanuzzelli) June 12, 2019
Global Student Build Challenge (June 2019) – A Case for Biodiversity
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth, and includes every living thing – from humans, plants and animals to microbes and fungi. Scientists estimate there are more than 30 million species on Earth. Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems, and also to many of the systems that help humans lead healthy lives – from pollinating fruits and vegetables to providing cures to diseases and balancing food chains to keep pests under control. A 2019 report released by the United Nations explains that one million species are at risk of extinction, and as the human population continues to rise and climate change worsens, habitats around the world are shrinking.
Explore the delicate balance of ecosystems with this Minecraft Student Build Challenge! Launch the starter world and teleport to a Minecraft biome. Build an aquatic or terrestrial ecosystem including plant and animal species. Document your ecosystem with the Book & Quill. Then remove one type of plant or animal. Rebuild the area to illustrate how the ecosystem would be affected by the extinction of one critical species. Take a few more photos to document the changes. Share students’ work with the Minecraft Education community on Twitter or Facebook using #MinecraftEdu, or post on Flipgrid!
- Choose an animal from your biome and describe its ecological niche.
- Use the Book & Quill as a science journal to document the energy transfers that occur in your ecosystem.
- Research your chosen biome. Show on a world map where this biome exists in real life.
- Use images from your Minecraft world to create a poster promoting conservation.
- UN Report on Biodiversity
- National Wildlife Federation – Biodiversity
- American Museum of Natural History – Biodiversity