MinecraftMicrosoft Studios

Young ‘Minecrafters’ on board to shape Cardiff’s future

Around 120 million copies of Minecraft have been sold around the world. Picture: Minecraft/Microsoft Studios

Young people in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, are being given an innovative and unique opportunity to help shape the city’s future through a popular gaming platform.

Minecraft Education is a Child-Friendly Cardiff programme designed to engage children and young people by challenging them to design and share their ideas of how a future city would best suit their needs.

A partnership between Cardiff Council’s Education Service and Cardiff University’ School of Computer Science, this digital initiative sets various ‘real world’ challenges, and is being launched with a competition asking schoolchildren to redesign a specific piece of land in the city centre – with the winner having a real say in its future purpose.

‘The scheme engages with children and young people’

Councillor Sarah Merry, Cardiff Council’s Member for Education, said: “Cardiff’s aspirations to becoming an internationally recognised Child Friendly City, placing the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city’s policies, strategies and services is progressing.

“UNICEF UK has recently recommended that the council submits for Child Friendly City recognition in the autumn of 2021, acknowledging the work we have already undertaken to involve children and young people in decision making.

“We are committed to building on this and this latest scheme endeavours to engage with children and young people allowing them to express their ideas to improve an area in the city centre through a platform they are familiar with.”

‘A focus on preserving and promoting green spaces’

Dr Catherine Teehan, from Cardiff University, added: “We have a dedicated outreach team at the school who are committed to providing support and resources for digital education across south east Wales. We are really excited to be part this innovative initiative in our home city and using game-based learning to engage with a wide range of children and young people.”

Youngsters taking part are given a geographically accurate representation of the site in which they can create their own worlds and experiences, with a focus on preserving and promoting green spaces.

Minecraft Education is a multi-platform video game which enhances creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, collaboration, and other life skills which uses building blocks, resources discovered on the site and the users own creativity.

Click here for more on UNICEF UK’s Child Friendly Cities scheme, part of UNICEF’s global CFCI programme.

Author: Simon Weedy

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