Fifty-seven primary schools in Australia are now incorporating educational Minecraft Education video games created to teach students about the mining sector into their curricular. Minecraft has partnered with the Mineral Council of Australia, the University of Queensland, and Mining Education Australia to bring gaming to classrooms in the country. This decision is all in an effort to pique children’s interest in the mining sector. The hope is that this will lead to more young students choosing subjects and later, degrees or diplomas that could lead to a career in the mining industry and create more future talent for the sector.

Schools will be using the game Minecraft: Education Edition’s Mine Solar Car Lab. Children will learn how to build an electric vehicle in the video game, be taught about mineral resources, and learn the importance of engineering in the sector. As well as this the game will make students aware of the significance and potential of AI and automation in mining operations. It can be played on iOS and Android smartphones as well as on Windows 10 devices.

Why does Australia want to draw kids’ attention to the mining sector in this way?

Mining in Australia has been suffering from a skills and labour shortage for some time, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many young people pursue careers in different sectors and many don’t even consider the mining industry as a possible career path. This is largely due to the fact they have no idea of the career opportunities, growth, and benefits that exist in the mining sector. What’s more, they are unaware of the high availability of jobs and the salaries they could earn working in the industry. Unlike the medical, legal, business, education, and other sectors that schools often inform students about as some of the possible careers they could choose, the mining sector is often forgotten.

The move to put Minecraft in classrooms aims to change this by not only making children aware of mining as a viable career path but also providing them with learning tools so they can engage in educational activities relating to mining and engineering

Why video games?

This is not the first time Minecraft and other video games have been used in schools for educational purposes –and Minecraft has offered games for years now that were designed to teach young people about a number of subjects and fields, including mining. This began in 2016 when Microsoft (which bought the video game from its developer, Mojang, in 2014) launched Minecraft: Education Edition. However, it is the first time Australia has decided to integrate these educational video games formally into school programmes.

A sandbox video game, Minecraft first came about in 2011 and is now the number one selling video game of all time.

What do you think of this move by Australia? Will it work and is it necessary? Let us know! Comment below with your thoughts.

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