Inspire pupils to learn about sustainability in two new Minecraft Education worlds and develop the green skills they need to take action on climate change
The Crown Estate has teamed up with Microsoft UK for a sustainability education initiative featuring two Minecraft Education worlds based on the iconic Windsor Great Park and an offshore wind farm.
Both worlds come with curriculum-linked lesson plans and resources co-created with teachers, inspiring students to build their knowledge of biodiversity and renewable energy, and develop the green skills to take real world action.
1. Net-zero future
Do you want to tackle climate change in the classroom? As we learn more about its potentially catastrophic consequences, it becomes more important than ever that the UK meets its sustainability targets.
The Crown Estate sees first-hand the implications of biodiversity loss across all its urban and rural holdings, from the iconic Windsor Great Park to the seabed and coastline it looks after.
It has launched this initiative to help young people develop the green skills and sustainability knowledge they need to thrive in a net-zero future.
2. A positive approach
There is growing ecoanxiety amongst young people, with 95 per cent of pupils in the UK saying they’re worried about climate change. Schools, of course, want to help, but 70 per cent of teachers haven’t been equipped or feel confident to cover it in lessons.
That’s where this initiative comes in. By framing climate change through the lens of biodiversity and renewable energy, it provides a positive, solutions-focused way to engage pupils, and the resources include all the information teachers need to feel confident with the topics without adding to your workload.
3. The power of virtual worlds
The Crown Estate has partnered with Microsoft UK to create two new worlds for Minecraft Education – the Offshore Wind Power Challenge, and the Conservation Quest at Windsor Great Park.
These worlds empower students to explore real-world sustainability themes from the comfort of your classroom.
They can design and develop a new wind farm to power a town while protecting marine habitats or complete four quests to manage the ecological health of the historic Windsor Great Park.
“These worlds empower students to explore real-world sustainability themes from the comfort of your classroom.”
4. Curriculum-linked lessons
To accompany the worlds, The Crown Estate has created a series of free, fun, curriculum-linked lesson plans aimed at ages 11–14 to help you and your pupils get the most out of this immersive experience.
Building on the themes from different challenges and quests, they provide everything you need to get started – including a teacher guide, lesson slides, worksheets and guidance videos.
Created with teachers to align with the National Curriculum, the lessons cover topics spanning science, geography and even engineering to help you include sustainability and green careers across your curriculum.
5. Inspire real-world action
Studies show that young people’s fears about climate change are associated with a lack of agency – where they’re not sure how to make a positive difference. That’s why these lessons culminate in taking real-world action, supported by the Taking Action Toolkit.
The Toolkit supports pupils to take the skills and knowledge they learn in the virtual worlds and apply them in their community. By showing young people they can take meaningful action for nature recovery, you can grow their confidence and empower them to be changemakers.
- You can access the lesson plans and Minecraft Education worlds at education.minecraft.net (Minecraft Education licence required for world)
- The resource pack comes with free guidance films, which tell you more and give top tips for using the lessons and Minecraft Education worlds with your class
- The lessons were co-created with science and geography teachers alongside biodiversity experts at The Crown Estate
- The flexible Taking Action Toolkit can be completed in a few hours, or over the course of a term, so you can use it in whatever way best suits you and your pupils