Building to Break Barriers

Building to Break Barriers is an outreach project that aims to engage children from under-represented groups with engineering, using the computer game Minecraft, a popular computer game that allows players to build limitless, imaginative creations.  

Minecraft’s endless building possibilities have many analogies to real-world processes, and so can be used to demonstrate and explain scientific concepts. Minecraft is an effective science communication tool, and its use in educational settings helps children learn and gives them a sense of ownership and expertise. 

Building to Break Barriers will co-produce ten new engineering outreach sessions with engineers, children, and young people. Sessions will be delivered to schools, specific groups, at Minecraft clubs and public events around the UK. To increase representation, the children involved will be from under-represented groups, and so will some of the engineers.  

If you are an engineer and wish to get involved with creating and delivering outreach sessions, you can contact the project at extendingstem@uwe.ac.uk. You will receive tailored 1:1 outreach training and support throughout the project and will be able to choose the type and level of involvement to suit your individual circumstances.  

UK children and schools are also invited to participate in co-designing outreach sessions with the project team and engineers. This can include contributing an idea for a session topic, voting on a selection of session topics, suggesting hands-on resources, or designing part of a Minecraft challenge. Contributions will be tailored to meet the needs of individual schools and children. If you are a school or a parent who knows a child or a group of children who would like to be involved, you can contact the project at extendingstem@uwe.ac.uk .  

Participation in Building to Break Barriers sessions will be remote throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Any queries on how to get involved can be directed to our email address extendingstem@uwe.ac.uk.  

For more information about the project you can read our most recent blog and you can follow updates via our Twitter feed.

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