Crafting Our Future City
Child Friendly Cardiff in partnership with Cardiff University School of Computer Science and Technocamps Ambassadors, are providing children and young people with unique and innovative opportunities to help shape the future of Cardiff by using the virtual gaming platform Minecraft Education.
‘Craft Our Future City’ is a Child Friendly Cardiff initiative which aims to engage young people in a range of strategic developments and curriculum innovation by using Minecraft Education, ensuring that they can express their views in dynamic and fun ways.
Developed by Cardiff’s Education Service and Cardiff University School of Computer Science, the digital approach sets a series of real-world challenges and provides a way for children & young people to share their ideas of how they would like Cardiff to look in the future.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “Cardiff’s aspirations to becoming an internationally recognised Child Friendly City, placing the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city’s policies, strategies and services is progressing.
“Unicef UK has recently recommended that the Council submits for Child Friendly City recognition late 2021, acknowledging the work we have already undertaken to involve children and young people in decision making and working hard to make rights a reality for all.
“We are committed to building on this and this latest scheme endeavours to engage with children and young people allowing them to express their ideas to improve an area in the city centre through a platform they are familiar with.
Dr Catherine Teehan from Cardiff University said: “The School of Computer Science have been working as part of the TechnoCamps programme at for the last seven years. We have a dedicated outreach team at the school who are committed to providing support and resources for digital education across Southeast Wales.
“We are really excited to be part this innovative initiative in our home city and using game-based learning to engage with a wide range of children and young people.”
Minecraft Education is a multi-platform video game which enhances creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, collaboration, and other life skills which uses building blocks, resources discovered on the site and the users own creativity.
TechnoCamps is a Welsh Government funded initiative which has allowed Cardiff School of Computer Science to establish an outreach team which includes over 120 student STEM Ambassadors.
Our TechnoCamps team deliver free workshops to schools from Southeast Wales and support the continuing professional development of teachers across the region. The scheme also provides family and community events where digital workshops are delivered to facilitate small scale digital creative projects.
Previous Minecraft Challenges
Cathays Green Space
An empty space earmarked for redevelopment between Cardiff University and National Museum Wales has been virtually re-shaped by children across the city. In partnership with Cardiff University ‘Technocamps team children have been dreaming up new designs for the space using the Minecraft for Education programme, accessible to all schoolchildren through the Hwb platform.
Children were immersed in the space after it was recreated on Minecraft by the Technocamps team. From there they were given creative license to construct whatever landscape they thought was important to them.
Entries from Over 50 teams of children across Cardiff schools were collated, to help inform the final design of the space. The Technocamps team were able to find several themes, similarities, and high-quality designs after reviewing the entries. In partnership with a local architect and landscaper, the space will now be transformed into a relaxation green area containing elements and themes from the Minecraft designs.
Minecraft Competition Entries - Cathays Green Space
Utilising tools like Minecraft is crucial to gaining legitimate and vital input from children and young people on planning decisions across the city, ultimately embedding their rights to be heard and listened to, as per the UNCRC.
The Child Friendly City team continue to advocate for using Minecraft for Education as a useful consultation tool in local planning and development decisions.
Velindre Cancer Centre
Cardiff University Technocamps team have again applied their expertise and graft in curating a Minecraft world whereby children and young people in Cardiff can contribute to the design process of a major South Wales Cancer Centre. Participants were given criteria by which their designs should address, including biodiversity, community, and building features.
Over 100 designs were submitted to the competition, of which 10 were shortlisted to feed into the contractual bid process, 1 was selected as an outstanding contribution with the opportunity to work with architects on the projects, whilst themes were drawn from the overall entries.
Below are some of the fantastic entries submitted to the panel of representatives, including youth ambassadors and project directors.