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“I want to be an Architect when I grow up!”

Written By: Lynn Kwek, Lead Instructor for Jr Architect

It’s been almost a year since we launched the Jr Architect: Minecraft version and our Jr. Architects never fail to amaze us whenever we see their creations on Minecraft!

In this program, our explorers will explore different architecture projects and build them in a Minecraft world. In the process, we get them to explore different architectural concepts such as understanding scales, drawing of blueprints, learning different architecture styles and others!

If you haven’t already heard of it, Microsoft Minecraft is a popular game known for its versatility as it combines survival, construction, crafting and exploration all in one platform. Players can choose to explore in three different modes in Minecraft: Survival, Adventure and Creative, each providing a different experience.

In our program, we have chosen to let our junior architects build in the Creative mode as this allows them to explore different materials freely and build and construct as close to real-life situations as possible, without worrying about creating their resources.

Bridge by Darius, 8 years old

Junior Architects expressing themselves creatively in a safe digital environment

Believe it or not, Minecraft actually provides children with a platform to creatively express themselves despite it being a video game. Children are able to build different structures while also learning skills such as independence, problem-solving and collaboration. The world of creation in Minecraft is endless as children can build anything and everything that they can think of. One of our students built his very own house with a secret base in it for in case of emergency during a disaster.

“I love to bring my ideas to live!” - Shi Han, 9 years old

“A secret base and exit to help me during emergency!” - Shi Han, 9 years old

What Minecraft provides is a safe digital environment that allows our players to build creatively as only players with the right access codes can enter the same world in multiplayer mode. This means that children are safe from hackers and unwanted guests. This can prevent unwanted interaction and other conflicts.

Real-life application of theories learnt in school

This might come as a surprise but children also get to apply basic literacy skills such as calculation, 3D building, even material science knowledge as they explore through Minecraft! These skills can be enhanced as children build meaningfully with the help of different activities.

Many times we see students losing interest in learning in school because they cannot see the link between what they are learning with the world around them. In our Jr. Architect classes, we have seen our Jr Architects applying different concepts as they design their blueprint before building their ideas in Minecraft.

Take a look at a blueprint illustrated by one of our Jr. Architects during our lesson, as he depicted his building from 4 different perspectives.

“I am able to build out what I’ve designed on my blueprint!” - Matthew, 7 years old

In this case, with the use of blueprints, students were able to understand more about turning 2-Dimensional shapes into 3-Dimensional shapes. In this instance, after learning about 2D to 3D shapes, they proceed to learn about different views and angles, reinforcing concepts they learn academically and apply them meaningfully.

Modern Hotel by Rivaan, 9 years old

Nurturing aspirations and interest

While I understand the fear of addiction to games, we believe that if meaningfully engaged, gamification can help children explore different interests and nurture possible aspirations! (Never too young to start!) Minecraft is one such platform that nurtures the joy of learning, provides ample opportunities for children to learn beyond the classrooms and nurtures individual's unique passion and aspirations.

To our surprise, some have displayed great interest in Architecture while others enjoyed the sessions simply because they were able to bring their imagination to life! In fact, one of our students said: “I want to be an architect because my Mum works as one!”

Symmetrical Cable-Stayed Bridge - Alden, 8 years old

Kudos to our Jr. Architects for putting in great effort to understand new and difficult concepts introduced to them and staying determined when exploring new skills and facing new challenges!

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