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Surrey students take on bridge building for 2nd annual Minecraft Challenge

MicrosoftTeams-image.pngThe Pattullo Bridge re-created in Minecraft

Students across the district recently put on their engineering hats as they took on the role of bridge builders for the second annual Surrey Schools Minecraft Challenge.

Last year’s inaugural event saw more than 1,300 students from 122 teams take on the challenge of rebuilding their school in Minecraft, with winners crowned in Secondary, Intermediate and Primary divisions.

For this year’s challenge, students were tasked with taking on a different engineering feat entirely: building all four bridges that span the Fraser River – The Golden Ears, Port Mann, Pattullo and Alex Fraser bridges.

According to technology helping teacher and challenge founder Gareth Poon, this year’s “Bridges of the Fraser” theme was selected to task students with something other than the standard buildings that made up last year’s competition.

“We chose this theme because it challenges the students to do a bit more research on what they’re building,” said Poon. “Now they’re having to look into bridges and how they were made, the engineering aspects that went into designing a bridge, as well as exploring the use of certain materials.”

Last year’s contest saw some students breaking out trundle wheels in order to accurately replicate the length of their schools in Minecraft form and for this year, Poon is hopeful the bridge theme will encourage students to develop an appreciation for an entirely different area of infrastructure.

He’s already heard from instructors that students are finding this year’s theme more demanding than 2022’s.

“That’s good, it shows you can’t approach building a bridge the same way you would a building. Making a building is a lot easier than making a bridge, you have to build up riverbanks, make sure the bridge matches up just right from either side and that all the supports are there.”

Student submissions have already been received for the challenge and the winners will be announced in early April. Winning teams will be recognized with a trophy and certificates.

For more information on the 2023 Surrey Schools Minecraft Challenge, click here.

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