Minecraft Design Challenge: a day of escape and learning

Recently, the MFNSS held a Minecraft Design Challenge at the RBC Convention Centre as part of the Esports program.

In teams of 3-4, First Nations students from MFNSS schools designed and built interconnected themed escape rooms that featured problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The winning team, from the Sargeant Tommy Prince School, constructed a replica of a residential school, complete with signposts and teachings and a graveyard respecting past generations. The winning game held numerous challenges that forced a player to interact with the map and learn about the history while problem-solving to escape to the next room.

During the eSports challenge, students were asked to blend game-like elements into their builds (find the button, pressure plates, red stone contraptions, lava traps, platformers, and more!). It also played on students’ design process, as they needed to play through their builds and test their game elements to ensure they worked, set spawn points so that the player knew the starting and endpoints, and each room needed to increase in difficulty. Furthermore, the creative mode map students were utilizing borrowed the resource/behaviour packs from the Manito Ahbee Aki map, which meant they could search their inventory for things like the 7 Sacred Teachings animals, local wildlife and vegetation, place teepees, NPC’s dressed in traditional clothing, and craft birch bark canoes.

The MNP accounting firm sponsored a lunch for students and chaperones, the MESA (Manitoba Esports Association) sponsored the venue at the RBC Convention Centre through a provincial grant, and Comicon gave all of the students and staff free passes to Comicon. Tourism Winnipeg also attended the event, wanting to highlight the MFNSS event and position Wpg as an Esports destination in Canada.

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