Sustainability In The Library via Minecraft

This holiday programme wasn’t a relaxed, laid back affair – this one really had children thinking. The challenge was to create an Eco-House using Minecraft.

Eco House

We discussed the impact their house would have on the environment. This made the students think of the types of materials needed and how they could reduce the impact by utilizing their surroundings. Great discussions occurred, with the benefits of different materials and styles of buildings.

Many explored solar and wind power to create energy efficient houses. Others investigated the movement of water to create power.

One student harnessed the use of light sensors to store energy to allow his crops to still grow at night. Another created a wind turbine to light his house.

But the most interesting creation was an Eco Friendly Chicken House using a chickhouse nuclear reactor! See his amazing creation:

New Minecraft map built by the students

Keep calm and mine P1030951 _TNT _Tree P1040024

Every few terms or so at the Minecraft club here at the Christchurch City Libraries, our map becomes a little “messy” and a bit of “griefing” begins to creep in. When this happens and the current students attending the club decide enough is enough, we create a new blank world map. This time around we decided to do something a little different. We got two of the students from Riccarton High School to build a new one for us. Below is a video showing the “builders” of the map explaining their rationale for the design and the subsequent reaction to it from the other students.

South Learning Centre

Minecraft with Thorrington Primary

This Minecraft 8 week course ran during Term 4 and was a collaboration between 30 Thorrington Primary students, a very enthusiastic teacher “Mr Scurr”, and staff here at South Learning Centre. The idea was to have the students create an entire world together from scratch using Minecraft. Used in this way, Minecraft has proven to be a very valid and engaging educational tool.

The content was aligned to the school curriculum and supported the key competencies of “Relating to Others”, “Thinking” and “Self-management” in the same way as a traditional unit of work with the the added benefit of the students being hugely enthusiastic right from the start. Below is a sample video of reflection which each of the 10 “build” groups produced.

As well as this video reflection, each of the students wrote weekly pre- and post- session “padlets” outlining what they wanted to achieve and how they actually managed at the end. These “padlets” were incorporated into the class blog and linked to their own individual blogs that captured their experiences. Thecan be viewed on the main blog. You can link to the students individual blogs from here.

Photos of the students at work.

Minecraft. December 2014. Flickr: 2014-12-P1040617

This course was the first of its kind for both Thorrington Primary and South Learning Centre and was a huge success. Courses such as this one are referred to as Horizons programmes and can be booked by schools by contacting the team at South Learning Centre.

South Learning Centre

Minecraft in action

Enjoy this video of Minecraft in action at our Learning Centres. Thanks to Danny of South Learning Centre and Bridget of MakerCrate.

Want to get your MineCraft on?
Check out our MineCraft Club, back in action after the school holidays. Get creative, start crafting! Build imaginative worlds and battle nocturnal creatures at the learning centres Minecraft club. Novice or expert, join the club and play with your friends in our very own world. A tutor will be in attendance to supervise and assist if necessary. Places are limited.

New Brighton Learning Centre.
Starts week two of every term
Tuesdays 3.30 to 4.30pm
Age: 8 to 13 years
Cost: $15.00 per child per term

South Learning Centre
Starts week two of every term
Fridays 3.30 to 4.30pm
Age: 8 to 13 years
Cost: $15.00 per child per term

Upper Riccarton Learning Centre
Starts week two of every term
Fridays 4.00 to 5.00pm
Age: 8 to  13 years
Cost: $15.00 per child per term

See this and more on our page on afterschool programmes. Bookings are required for sessions except Science Alive. Phone Learning Centre 9415140 or email

Cover of Minecraft Cover of Minecraft Cover of TinkerCad

Search our catalogue for Minecraft stuff.

South Learning Centre holiday highlights

Our first ever Minecraft Craft Holiday Programme – including 3D printing, Sketch Up to design keyrings, Huma beads of Minecraft characters, Printcraft to design students own buildings, Tinkercad to design and 3D print jewellery and electronics to make a Redstone light.


Keep your eyes peeled for more afterschool and holiday programmes at your library.