Oct. 06, 2021
PDF of Media Release
CALGARY – Calgary Board of Education students are set to put their coding skills to the test through a game-based learning challenge using one of the most popular computer games in the world.
CBE has collaborated with Microsoft Canada to launch
Level Up, Calgary! the first K-12 Minecraft: Education Edition design challenge of its kind in Canada. The challenge launches Oct. 8, 2021, culminating in the real-life build of the winning student design in downtown Calgary. This initiative is also supported by the City of Calgary and the Calgary Public Library.
CBE students from all grade levels will have the opportunity to explore, create and prototype designs in the pixelated world of Minecraft. The game allows students to construct buildings and three-dimensional landscapes.
As part of the challenge, students will be able to access a custom Minecraft world, designed just for them. The heart of Calgary’s downtown core has been rendered in Minecraft, where students can visit the Central Library, explore Olympic Plaza and interact with characters from the Indigenous community, the City of Calgary and experts from the Calgary Public Library.
Beginning Oct. 8, CBE students will work with their teachers and schools to build a design that respond to the challenge prompt, How might we reimagine our public spaces to enrich the lives of Calgarians and strengthen our community? Schools will submit their work, and designs vetted by a selection committee before being presented to the City of Calgary.
The City has designated a plot of land downtown where the final winning design will be constructed for students and members of the public to enjoy for years to come.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for educators to explore how they can support student achievement and well-being using a platform that we know excites students,” said CBE Chief Superintendent of Schools Christopher Usih. “We are grateful to Microsoft and Minecraft: Education Edition for their ongoing support in our partnership, in the creation of the downtown core in the Minecraft environment and supporting professional learning for CBE teachers.”
Minecraft: Education Edition is a game-based learning platform that helps build 21st century skill, such as coding and creative problem solving. Microsoft offers free access to Microsoft 365 and Teams for Education to schools as part of the company’s ongoing support for educators, especially during remote and hybrid learning. Today, more than 200 million students, faculty, institutional leaders and teachers are actively using Microsoft Education.
“School boards, families and educators all recognize the importance of nurturing the skills students will need to be ready for the future like critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, communication and citizenship, in addition to digital skills. Level Up, Calgary! offers students and educators in Calgary a way to engage with each other, whether they are learning together in the classroom or remotely,” says Elka Walsh, National Learning and Skills Lead, Microsoft Canada. “Using Minecraft: Education Edition, students have an opportunity to practice these skills and bring their own creativity and innovation to their learning.”
“Engaging students with authentic learning experiences and 21st-century learning technology supports the work schools do every day to reach the goals articulated in our Education Plan,” said CBE Chief Superintendent of Schools Christopher Usih.
Representatives from Microsoft Canada and the Calgary Board of Education will be available for interview following a virtual media launch on Oct. 8, 2021.
Date: Friday, Oct. 8. 2021
Time: 10:30 a.m.
firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and receive a link to the media launch.