A class at Ardrossan Elementary is one of three winners in Elk Island Public School’s (EIPS) Minecraft Design Challenge.

The challenge involved students building a prototype of the new Sherwood Heights Junior High School replacement in Minecraft. Students also needed to follow infrastructure standards and landscaping guidelines in their prototypes.

Claudia Klippenstein, a fourth-grade teacher at Ardrossan Elementary whose class was one of the winners, said the process of designing, planning, and building the school took a total of four months.

"The kids are experts at Minecraft. This is their bread and butter. They play it almost every day," said Klippenstein. "They taught me a lot about how Minecraft works. It was a really amazing team-building experience. It really reinforced relationships and built new relationships."

Their prototype featured some unique additions, including flowers and trees around the school, a fountain outside the front doors, and even a greenhouse in the school.

"The kids really wanted to create a school that had a central green space inside it, almost like the Muttart Conservatory. The whole school is built around that green space."

The class also had to create a video and document to go along with their prototype.

"I think a lot of them thought we wouldn't finish, and a lot of them were amazed by how it all came together in the end." 

As a result of winning, the three classes will head to Strathcona County Council Chambers on Wednesday (May 31) to present their school design to the new school committee and stakeholders involved with building the new school.

"The kids get to have their voices heard in terms of what they want to be in a new EIPS school, which is so cool."

The other winners of the Minecraft Challenge were the Grade 3 students in Michael Mackney's class at Lakeland Ridge, and Grade 8 student Zoë Matiushyk and Grade 11 student Isaiah Anderson from Lamont High.

You can see a video of Klippenstein's class's prototype below: