Mining creativity during the holidays


Participants can put their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to the test in the South-East Asia Minecraft Winter Camp.

WITH the year-end holidays coming up, children and adults are invited to take part in a virtual camp to learn coding and increase heritage awareness.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) senior lecturer Dr Noorzana Khamis said the South-East Asia Minecraft Winter Camp was open to those aged seven and above.

“The camp’s theme of Heritage Immortalised-Winter Wonders aims to promote heritage awareness as well as develop participants’ creative and innovative thinking skills.

“In this fully online event, the video game Minecraft is used to provide a 3D sandbox environment. “The block-based mechanics makes it an ideal place for students to test their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills,” she said.

The previous event, which was held from May to August, saw participation from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and India with 90% comprising primary and secondary school students.

“We encourage more people to join as the camp gives school and tertiary-level students as well as teachers a chance to know more about coding, through game-based learning.

“Participants are also invited to virtually visit sites built in Minecraft to increase their awareness of heritage preservation,” said Noorzana.

The heritage tour will include buildings in Johor, Melaka, Perak, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak as well as countries like Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia.

A treasure hunt during the Minecraft heritage tour will require participants to get more information from tour guides, take photos and write in a journal and produce a video.

“There is also a Heritage Immortalised Building Competition, where participants have to build a heritage building modelled after an existing one, with winter surroundings and according to the specifications given.

“Besides that, participants get to learn simple coding, take part in team-building activities such as a maze runner course, escape from a closed room as well as navigate complex tests in a parkour course,” Noorzana elaborated.

The best team would be rewarded with a cash prize, she said, adding that the event would run until Dec 26.

Programme coordinator Pang Yee Jiea said the event was jointly organised by SMK Yok Bin in Melaka and Empire Code Education Centre in Singapore.

In addition to UTM, the other co-organisers are South-East Asia Ministers of Education’s Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics, and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.

Registration is open until Nov 15. For details, visit https://bit.ly/minecraft_camp

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