National Highways Minecraft games launched
08 Sep 2021
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National Highways to inspire next generation of talent through world’s best-selling video game - Free A428 game and workshops available for local schools now
National Highways’ A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet project on Monday (6 September 2021) launched an exciting, new video game to inspire the next generation of talented tech experts, engineers, scientists and mathematicians.
The launch, which is part of a wider initiative that includes a number of games based on some of National Highways’ biggest projects, will see students across the country able to jump in and explore the proposed A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme re-created on best-selling platform Minecraft.
Through in-game activities, students will be able to learn about everything road designers have to take into account when they’re planning the scheme. Students will get a sense of the range of skills used by National Highways to build some of the biggest road projects in a generation, including: archaeology, biology, ecology, civil engineering, communications technology and coding.
The A428 Creative game includes lesson plans that teachers can use with their students aged 7-11 (key stage 2) and 11-14 (key stage 3) and can be used by schools during lunchtime or after-school clubs. The game will ask a set of questions, and students can spend as much time as they want building and designing things in relation to the questions.
National Highways will be releasing another A428 Minecraft game soon, focusing on natural habitats and which will be promoted via the A428 website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Check out our launch video below to see what the Minecraft games look like!
In addition, National Highways is also offering four workshops throughout the autumn term (September to December 2021) and is looking for local schools who would be interested in in-class workshops with our developers. In the workshops, students will experience:
- Building a new stretch of road while enhancing the habitats for local ecology and making notes of their learning in their digital workbook;
- Creatively designing and building areas of the scheme by answering a set of expert questions; and
- Learning about noise mitigation of a road and balancing a budget with the most effective sound barriers.
The educational package is aligned to the National Curriculum and is available to all teachers and schools, the only requirement is that they have access to Microsoft Education Centre. If you would like one of these workshops to take place at your school, please contact info@A428.co.uk.
Please note that workshops will be organised on a first come first served basis. Further sessions with our STEM Ambassadors will also be available to book from January 2022 and it is possible to express an interest for these now via the same email address.
Lee Galloway, A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Project Director, said:
“We want to inspire the next generation of talented engineers and scientists, on whom the country’s infrastructure and national economy will one day depend. Our ambition is to seek out the next James Dyson or Dame Sarah Gilbert and help put them on the path to a fascinating life and career.
“With the help of Minecraft and the in-game activities, students will get first-hand experience of what would go into building a huge bridge or digging a giant tunnel. In real life these are multi-million pound structures that are carefully designed and then built by experts. These skills and expertise help to create the motorways and main roads that keep us all moving, whether going to work, delivering goods or keeping families and friends connected.”
The Minecraft maps and games were created by Blockbuilders C.I.C, an expert company aimed at engaging young people into planning, the environment and local history using Minecraft.
Megan Leckie, Co-Director at BlockBuilders Youth Engagement, said:
“We are very proud of the unique educational games we have created with National Highways, using Minecraft Education Edition. Creative platforms such as these open up a whole new world of learning for young people, where they can be directly engaged with their local environment and find out more about engineering.”
For the latest information about the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements: