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9 July 2024
Training

Minecraft Education Worlds Aim to Give Welsh-Speaking Youngsters Insights into Green Skills

New Minecraft Education worlds which focus on green skills are now available in the Welsh language.

The collaboration between Microsoft UK and The Crown Estate is part of The Crown Estate’s focus on developing skills to support the energy transition. Students across Wales can test their green skills and learn more about planning offshore wind farms and protecting the marine environment in Minecraft Education world, ‘Offshore Wind Power Challenge’. In a second world, they can learn about conservation and ecology.

The new Minecraft worlds are aimed at inspiring primary and secondary school students to better understand climate change and the natural environment, and to consider careers in engineering, sustainability and conservation. In the ‘Offshore Wind Power Challenge’, students will see if they can power a coastal village by designing and building an offshore wind farm.

The Crown Estate recently delivered a demonstration of the new Minecraft world to a group of Year 8 pupils at Ysgol Bro Teifi, a Welsh medium school in Ceredigion. The lesson allowed pupils to hone their IT skills and learn more about offshore wind and the sector’s important role in driving the UK’s energy transition.

Renewable energy is a growing industry in Wales. A new generation of floating offshore windfarms is set to be developed in the Celtic Sea with the Crown Estate’s current seabed leasing round, with the new floating turbines capable of generating up to 4.5GW of electricity – enough to power more than four million homes.

In its Celtic Sea Blueprint published in February, The Crown Estate highlighted research which showed up to £1.4 billion and more than 5,000 jobs could be added to the UK’s economy though the development of floating offshore wind off the coast of South Wales and South-West England.

The two new worlds created for Minecraft Education are available in Welsh and English, each with supporting lesson plans and teaching materials aligned with the curriculum of schools in Wales.

Ensuring that the Welsh language is relevant in the digital world is central to the Welsh Government’s goal to reach one million Welsh speakers by 2050, and to achieve this there are calls for more digital and interactive resources in Welsh.

Jeremy Miles, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy & Welsh Language, said:

“I welcome this exciting collaboration with Microsoft. It is so important that students are able to use the Welsh language in all digital contexts without having to ask or go out of their way to do so.

“The renewable energy sector provides some of the greatest prospects for Wales’ economic future. This innovative resource will allow our young people to grapple – in Welsh and in English – with the challenges and opportunities the sector presents. It will also introduce them, from an early age, to the possibility of a future career in renewable energy in Wales.”

Rebecca Williams, Cyfarwyddwr Cymru / Wales Director at The Crown Estate, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Microsoft UK and bring new Welsh language educational content to schools through the best-selling game of all time. These Minecraft worlds provide students and teachers with a fun way to explore the opportunities and challenges involved in delivering our energy transition whilst protecting and restoring our natural environment, through the language that is most relevant to them.

“The Crown Estate is committed to creating partnerships and bringing people together to make a positive impact. With a leasing round for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea already underway, we hope this initiative will help to inspire the next generation of young people develop their skills and passion and introduce them to some of the green career opportunities needed to achieve our renewable energy and net zero ambitions.”

Leah Slaymaker, Digital Competency Co-Ordinator at Ysgol Bro Teifi, said:

“It’s fantastic that our children have the opportunity to learn about important subjects such as the environment and climate change through digital means. The students thoroughly enjoy using Microsoft Minecraft Education – not only is it fun and enjoyable but through the different activities they learn and develop a number of important skills such as problem solving, collaboration and creativity. It is an extra bonus to be able to develop digital knowledge and skills through the medium of Welsh.”

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