8-10 yrs old
11-13 yrs old
Math & Economics
In this custom built Minecraft world, students encounter a variety of problems that reflect construction challenges in cities today.
July 5, 2017
Download the world via this link.
Full lesson PDF
Please review the full lesson via this PDF.
Battersea Power Station is a gigantic monument, and represents a piece of history that is worthy of preservation. The building is iconic and serves as a landmark for the city, for which reason it is a listed building. The preservation order applies specifically to the four distinctive chimneys at each corner of the building, which may not be demolished. Apart from these, the groups may freely decide which new features they will give the building.
As input for this challenge, it can be an advantage to break the task down into several possible tracks. This may be structured by considering the basis of the following functions:
This division is taken from the current redevelopment project, which creates a mixture of all six possibilities. The groups can draw inspiration from this and plan their project with emphasis on specific functions.
The construction planning may be based on the following questions:
The project undergoes five different phases:
These phases include elements of the working procedures the groups have already experienced in Chapters 2 and 3. The challenge in this project is that the size of the building makes demands on the group’s ability to see overall solutions while at the same time dividing the whole building into smaller tasks that can be delegated within the group.
A second focus area that groups should be aware of is that they need to work from “the rough” towards “the detailed”. It is a pitfall to begin detailing too early, and here it is important that the teacher, as facilitator, requires the groups to undergo all the phases of construction, which ensures that a virtual rough sketch is created before detailing takes place.
The groups plan their constructions using the templates that have been placed at their disposal. In these, you can see the building from five sides, plus an isometric view. It may be beneficial to discuss together how to exploit that fact that the group has many members, and ways to turn this into an advantage rather than a disadvantage. These might for example include:
- Appointing a group leader
- Delegating areas of the building to a team with a specific task
- Creating a team to come up with a separate proposal for how, for example, shops or offices should be implemented.
- The group can also choose to split into two sub-groups, each of which develops a draft plan, after which the group agrees on which ideas they wish to further develop.
When the groups have made a plan for the redevelopment, they present it. Here they must argue for the choices they have made, and explain how their idea will benefit the citizens of Newtown.
- What have you built?
- Why did you build it like this?
- What have you done to emphasise / preserve the building’s special characteristics?
- How will the citizens of the city benefit from this building?
- How do you assess your own ability to perform together as a team?
- How do you think things might possibly be done better next time?
The student can reflect on teamwork in a group, and on how this might be improved.
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