Minecraft Life Forms Project

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Project Goals:
Students will work together in pairs to plan, build and present a new society based on their ideas and research into different aspects of Urban Planning such as buildings, public spaces and services, transportation, currency, as well as different aspects of human culture such as language, music and clothing.

Duration: Approx 3-8 weeks

Targeted Grade Levels/Age Groups:Ages 9 and up. Can be adapted for most age ranges and ability levels as well as what tools you have available. Students can work in groups or complete the project individually.

How This Project Works:
It is the year 2312.
The earth is in trouble. Global warming has increased beyond all projected rates. The polar ice caps are mostly melted. Much of the Pacific and many other low lying areas on the planet are underwater and the total available land on the planet has reduced by 65%. The United Earth Leaders have given up on preventative measures and have ordered the mass evacuation of the planet to ensure the survival of the human race.
You and your team have been given a planet and unlimited funds to build a space craft, terraform a planet and start a new civilization.
Here are the things you need to complete.
1. Design your space craft. Do some research on the internet and try and find out what a space ship needs to support a colonizing mission. You will need to draw a picture of the outside of the craft, as well as the inside of your craft. Label the different areas of the craft. Include things like living quarters, science labs, food and hydroponics areas as well as engine rooms, cargo holds and control room. Don’t forget to name your space craft. You can use Google Sketchup or you can complete your design on an A3 piece of paper.
2 Name your planet. Create a logo for it. Explain the meaning of your name and what your expectation is for your new planet. You can use powerpoint, strip designer, Over, or any app that you think will be suitable, otherwise you may also design your logo on paper.
3. Draw a detailed map of your planet. You will need to research what things a planet needs to support life. Include areas such as oceans, desert, forest, jungle as well as mountain ranges etc. look at google earth and other maps to help you include geographical features. Include a key and compass positions.
4. Use minecraft to create your planet. Make sure you include the geographical features you have included in your map. Areas to include are:
  • residential dwellings (where your colonists will live, think about our country. we have a mix of apartments, houses, and farms)
  • Amenities ( think about a normal city. What buildings must they have- hospitals, town hall, schools etc
  • Entertainment areas (shops cinemas, holodeck areas -this is a futuristic city after all!!)
  • Trasnport systems (underground, trains, hovercraft lanes?)
  • Parks and green spaces

5. Design 2 creatures and 2 plants to be found on your planet. Include information about each including where on the planet they are found as well as any special things the creatures/plants have to help them adapt to their new environment. Use 123D Creature Sculpt. Draw your design, label parts and explain adaptations. Make a poster and then present a fact file about your creatures using keynote. Include these in your website
6. Create a website using Weebly advertising your planet as a new home for prospective colonists. Include places to visit, homes, and other things the planet has to offer. Take into account the situation many colonists will be coming from.
Headings for your websites could be:
About the planet, great places to visit, Amenities (services such as hospitals etc), transportation, flora and fauna, power sources, careers, residential areas, entertainment
7. Research alternative power sources. Gas and Oil are fossil fuels that will not be around for much longer. Create a keynote on other alternative power options and the one you have chosen to run your city. You must include 3 alternatives and your chosen power option.
8. Create your own currency. Design notes and coins and give them a value compared to NZ$. Name your currency. Create 5 math money problems for others to solve.
9. Create a job advertisement for prospective colonists. Include skills you want your future colonists to have. Add this to your brochure or website. Remember you are building your planet from scratch so think about skills you want people to have to help you develop your civilization.
10. Design a national costume. Research other countries costumes to give you some inspiration.
11. Use GarageBand to create a national anthem for your new planet. 30sec-1.30m max.
12. Write a diary over a week from the point of view of a young colonist arriving on the planet for the first time. Min 5 entries of at least 150-200 words per entry.
13. Create an alphabet for your new planet. Include a few common words as well as an a-z list.
14. Transportation is always a city’s biggest problem. How will your people get around? Include in your city, your transport options, public as well as private. Include in your website what private and public transport looks like, how it helps your self sustaining community and how it runs on your alternative power source. Design a transport vehicle to get around your new planet. Think about sustainability as you design as you want your new planet to be as ‘green’ as possible. Research what types of energy efficient or ‘green’ technologies that you could use to run your vehicle.
15. Design the layout of a building to house your first group of colonists. Remember to include accommodation, science labs, kitchens, bathing facilities and gardens as well as hydroponics labs and anything else you think your colonists will need. Remember that some wil be civilians, some may be scientists and even children. Use Google sketchup on the laptops
16. Create a monument design or sculpture to go in one of your public spaces. Think about some of the famous landmarks around the world such as Big Ben, The Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty, Taj mahal, Sky Tower, Stonehenge etc. Use these places as inspiration for your own famous landmark or monument. Include a picture of it on your website and in your movie and an explanation to why you have chosen it.

Optional Extra-

Working redstone creation- we all know that redstone can be used to create working tools such as a computer that will complete simple tasks or fire arrows on approach. Research what you can you with redstone and use one of these in your planet. Make sure it has a relevant purpose.

1. Monitor students use of Minecraft as griefing and inappropriate language could be used in the chat function. Explain appropriate ways of using Minecraft and get students to work collaboratively on rules for use that everyone agrees on.

How to Join:

1. Students and teachers will each need to create their own individual Minecraft account and download the program to their computers or have access to the app.

2. Class servers could also be created if you want to do this as a whole class project on computer. Try this video for instructions:__http://youtu.be/d04mtt5pGhg__

3. Post your photos, links, and other resources on the Minecraft Life Forms Project Wiki.

For further information
DM @CrimsonNZ or or email me direct- __tracyti@wellsford.school.nz__
Check out this great video about Minecraft- __http://youtu.be/RI0BN5AWOe8__

From the creator of this project:
I bought an account (about $40NZ) and there are about 6-7 of my class who also have accounts so we haven’t had an issue. Usually there is at least one person who has an account or who can log in for someone. We also have the school purchased app on the ipads which helps! Minecraft does offer an EDU discount if you are buying multiple licenses, but we haven’t gone there yet.

Also these great sites:
The Minecraft Teacher
Minecraft Edu
Minecraft Edu Wiki
Gaming Educators
Minecraft In Schools
Middle School Minecraft
Getting Started with Minecraft
Minecraft a Statistical Study for Teachers
Jokaydia Minecraft
Article: Why Minecraft Is More Than Just A Game
Lesson Ideas
Learning in Minecraft
Minecraft Guides
Minecraft in School Wiki
A Teachers Minecraft Tumblr