South Orangetown Central School District

Sixth graders are creating their own virtual models of bridges and sustainable homes using the Minecraft Education program!

 Over the last few weeks, students in the project-based class, Challenge Lab, have been working in groups to design a bridge that can transport cars, trains and even pedestrians using a walking path. Students must work together to strategize which materials and structural design will create a sturdy bridge. “Students have to make the bridge as realistic as possible and create something that could actually be used to safely transport anything from vehicles to trains. It’s a great project because they can work together to brainstorm and they each have tasks to complete to make the design come together,” said SOMS teacher Eric Goldstein. Once they have completed their designs, SOMS Technology teacher Kerry Beckmann will judge the bridges to see which model is the most structurally sound bridge.

 Other students are working to build sustainable houses. “We’re working to make a home that’s sustainable and good for the environment. As we have been building the house within the program, it gives us tips on how to be more sustainable including how to save energy, so we have added solar panels and insulation to our house. I think we’re going to plant trees next so we have fresh produce. After the house is finished, we’re going to start creating a complete sustainable city,” explained sixth grader Roxy.

SOMS Challenge Lab