Fulwood students test out new Minecraft game based on Preston and South Ribble flood defense program

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Children working on virtual learning experience

Students at Archbishop Temple Church of England High School in Fulwood have joined forces with the Environment Agency, Microsoft and Minecraft: Education Edition to take part in a unique and immersive virtual learning experience.






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‘Rivercraft’, which launched on Tuesday April 5, is based on the Environment Agency’s £54.7million flood defense program in Preston and South Ribble.

The program will reduce the risk of flooding for 4,700 homes when completed.

Using interactive play through the creation of a Minecraft world, the games will help young people learn about climate change, the environment and flooding, while raising awareness of careers in STEM and civil engineering.

Children and young people around the world will be able to learn about climate change, the environment and reducing the impacts of flooding through the new game.

The in-game Preston World is the first of its kind that uses artificial intelligence to map out an area and convert it into an interactive Minecraft map.

This established educational tool is used by millions of educators and students in 112 countries, with hundreds of free courses and programs, teacher trainings and learning programs.

Read more: Update given on the River Ribble Flood Defense System at Broadgate and Penwortham

The Environment Agency and Microsoft will work alongside youth engagement experts, BlockBuilders, to engage users in three themed games.

Here is an overview of the games:

Game 1: Dealing with floods

This game will focus on building the Preston and South Ribble flood defenses.

The player will be tasked with constructing various types of flood prevention measures including natural flood management, walls and embankments as well as flood storage areas and anti-flood gates.

Players will learn the pros and cons of each approach and their relevance within local communities.

Game 2: Flood Prevention

This game will explore how individual actions can mitigate climate change and how understanding flood risk can reduce damage to people and property.

Game 3: Our local environment

This game will start on the riverbank where the player will be tasked with conducting an ecological survey using his digital workbook and camera.

The purpose of this game will be for investigators to spot and record some of our most beloved wildlife, including voles and otters.

Read more: School and independent nurseries in Ashbridge score high marks in latest inspection

With the aim of encouraging young people to embark on environmentally-based careers, the characters in the game have also been adapted to reflect the diversity of the local project team and the communities that the Environment Agency serves.

Andy Brown, Head of Flood Risk for the Environment Agency, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for students and a project we are proud to be part of.

“Not only will young people learn about a major flood program in the UK, but they will also learn about climate change, the environment, floods and the types of roles available for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Introducing the next generation to the brilliant career opportunities we have here at the Environment Agency is essential if we are to deliver our vital flood and coastal defense projects.

“This includes the Preston and South Ribble scheme, which will directly reduce the risk of flooding for 4,700 homes and
businesses.

“We want to help everyone discover their drive, passion and enthusiasm for the environment and the jobs available in this sector. We can’t wait to see Rivercraft and the world of Preston come to life across the globe.

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston

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