The Victoria state government in Victoria has created the model – which shows the city’s landmarks and underground history including the tunnel – to help students hone their creativity and problem-solving skills. Primary and secondary students from government schools across Victoria can take part in an ‘archaeology adventure’ as virtual archaeologists working at the Metro Tunnel dig site in Swanston Street and learn about artefacts recently uncovered.
Minister for education James Merlino and minister for transport infrastructure Jacinta Allan have launched the Minecraft collaboration between the Department of Education & Training and the Metro Tunnel project. Allan said: “Mini Melbourne is a Minecraft world-first, teaching students about the biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history.”
Minecraft enthusiasts from Australia and around the world will be able to immerse themselves in ‘Mini Melbourne’ featuring familiar such as Flinders Street Station, St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne Town Hall and Federation Square. The Mini Melbourne edition is available to all Minecraft users for download. Players can explore, build and design their own virtual corners of the city.
The archaeology exercise is seen as reinforcing teamwork, record keeping and problem-solving skills as students try to uncover as many artefacts as possible and come up with their interpretation of the previous usage of their site.
Merlino said: “Mini Melbourne in Minecraft is a fantastic resource that will enable Victorian government school students to learn more about Melbourne and its past. Innovations such as this engage young people in problem solving and STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects, inspiring them to work on city-shaping projects.”
Minecraft is an open-world video game that allows players to roam in virtual spaces and create their own buildings and cities. More than 154 million copies have been sold and the software is used for education purposes in more than 100 countries, as students encounter real-world learning during their virtual exploration.