North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Jun 27
Queensbury students craft sustainable city

By Maisie Harrison, Teacher

As part of the NVSD’s Sustainability and Climate Action Week activities, Grade 6 and 7 students from Division 1 at Queensbury Elementary participated in the Build your City Minecraft Challenge.  

The collaborative process sparked lively discussions among students about what a sustainable city should include. For example, could a skyscraper or a pig farm be sustainable? Through hard work, problem solving and collaboration, Sustainaville was created. 

Sustainaville incorporated a range of interesting elements such as engaging public spaces, housing options for residents, public amenities, natural features promoting biodiversity, public and active transportation infrastructure, renewable energy sources, and local food production. “The streets are lined with flowers so when people walk on them, they will feel like they are walking through nature,” said Luka, one of Sustainaville’s city planners. 

Sustainaville energy.png“Without causing air pollution, the wind turbines use the wind to produce electricity,” explained Julia, city planner. 

City Planner Tate mentioned a key feature, “The Grandfather Tree is important to Sustainaville because it produces oxygen for the city and is a great picnic spot. It is a great habitat for birds and other wildlife and a nice spot to take a break from the sun.” 

There were also elements that promoted community connection and fun, such as the pool with water slide and diving board that went all the way up to the top of the world! City Planner Aily spoke to the importance of public amenities. “People in the city can go for a swim on hot days and cool down. The waterslide is also important because little kids can go on it and have a ton of fun!” 

Sustainable grocery store.pngIt was exciting to see the class use the already familiar Minecraft platform to try something new. Some students brought a lot of knowledge and used their experience to build complex components, such as trains. They also acted as mentors and shared top tips with the class. When the class was logged on in the same physical space, the students quickly realized their actions in the virtual world had consequences in real life. Peers sometimes felt frustrated if something they were working on was changed without their prior knowledge. After a few problem-solving sessions, the class came up with different strategies to work together and figure out what should be built, and where, and what the project priority was.  

I am very proud of the cooperation and leadership skills the class built while thinking critically about building a healthy and sustainable space for people to live.  

Sustainaville Train.png


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