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Kids' Minecraft design to influence national parks

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Primary school students have won a competition using the video game Minecraft to help the State Government design real-life national parks.

A class of grade three and four students from Linden Park Primary School has won the Create Your Perfect National Park Minecraft competition, which asked students to use the internationally acclaimed “sandbox” video game Minecraft to design their ideal national park.

Minecraft allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a pixelated three-dimensional world.

The students’ “Leafy Sea Dragon National Park” design – check out the adorable video below – was the best of nearly 40 entries from upper primary school classes around the state.

The design features a giant, climbable leafy sea dragon sculpture, a wheelchair-accessible hedge maze, a bridge over a lake, a lookout, waterfall and native plant nursery.

The winning design will help guide national park upgrades worth around $10 million.

Melissa Cadzow is the mother of one of the students in the class and suggested the project to the school after reading about it on InDaily.

“The children led this project,” she said.

“It has been a great learning experience, as they have had the opportunity to research national parks, gain an understanding of the structure and design of a national park, as well as develop teamwork skills working on this project collaboratively with classmates over five weeks.

“It’s not a Minecraft project; it’s a design project about national parks that just happens to use Minecraft.

“I love our school and how our principal, Vicki Porter, and teachers Miss Wingard and Miss Millan embraced the project.

“But the stars are the students; [I’m] so proud of them and their work.”

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the competition was an innovative way to consult with young people, and would have a very practical application for the design of environmental recreation spaces.

“Asking children to share their ideas requires different methods to engaging with adults,” Hunter said.

“Whilst this competition is a lot of fun, these entries show us what children really want to do in our national parks, and while we can’t use all of the wonderful ideas we’ve received, they will inform the design of new natural play areas.

“We asked upper primary students to work together to create their perfect national park, with features that would make them want to visit parks more often.

“Treehouses, mazes and lookouts featured in many of the entries, along with more practical elements such as accessible toilets, barbecue areas and camp sites.

“The creativity and careful thought on show here is very impressive and all entrants should be commended for the work they have put in to this competition.”

The winning Linden Park Primary School class will receive a full-day excursion to Belair National Park, including nature education activities with park rangers.

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