Highlights from the November Student Build Challenge: Systems

Our Monthly Student Build Challenge for November was all about building systems. As the world becomes more interconnected, today’s learners need to be able to navigate systems—from the World Wide Web to ecosystems and the global economy. Matthew Farber has shared evidence to suggest that students can build systems thinking skills through game-based learning with tools like Minecraft: Education Edition. These skills will help students understand how systems function, solve complex problems, and visualize models across both concrete and abstract systems.

We asked students to show us the systems they’ve been learning about, whether they’re natural or human-made. We saw some fantastic creations from students around the world. Thanks to everyone who participated!

We’d like to share a few of the entries that educators sent our way. We hope they’ll provide inspiration for your classroom builds.

Malaysian teacher Cikgu Aman’s students created a rose to model the natural systems behind plant life. Take a look at the pics from their build, then watch two quick videos of their work on Facebook and Twitter.

In Australia, Josh Bowman’s students researched, planned, and built sustainable food facilities. See their creations at work!

Click here for video

Wilj Dekkers’ students in New Zealand modeled a variety of systems, including a Rube Goldberg machine, photosynthesis, the digestive system, ballistics, and the effects of chemicals on human cells.
Here’s their epic Rube Goldberg machine.

Their photosynthesis model looks great, as well!

In Texas, Mr. Street’s students modeled the water cycle. You can watch a video of their work here!

James Pike’s students in Los Angeles created the digestive system. Take a look at their work in this video recap.

Click here for video

We loved seeing the way students applied their curiosity and ingenuity to the Systems Build Challenge. It’s exciting to think about how they might apply these processes to real-world problems and processes, and create impactful solutions.

Next up: December’s Build Challenge is all about Modeling Gratitude. We’re asking students to reflect on a time someone showed them kindness and build a scene that illustrates that experience. Learn how your classroom can take part here: aka.ms/modelinggratitude
If you’re new to Minecraft: Education Edition and want to bring build challenges like these into your classroom, get started today!