World Premier of ‘Refugee Dash’ – a Minecraft Minigame

The critics have spoken: “Powerful!” “Moving!” “Makes an impact!” On Thursday, April 28, the world got it’s first glimpse of Refugee Dash, a Minecraft minigame where you experience the struggle of a Syrian Refugee. Last week the Seventh grade Global Studies students at Brentwood School gave their annual presentations for Human Rights Day (formerly know as Global Awareness Day). For the creative component of this project, one student used Minecraft to demonstrate her empathy and awareness of the Syrian refugee crisis.

This project is an example of how Minecraft can engage students in learning and facilitate understanding of serious events that occur in the real world. I think she did an outstanding job representing the war torn environment, the urgency to the situation and the dangers of the journey.

Trailer, photos and a description of the project are below. 

p1Refugeedash p2FreedomDash

Students gave their presentations in classrooms and then at lunch time the computer lab was open with 5 computers set up for students to play Refugee Dash. Below are some photos testing the computers the day before and students playing during lunch.

NatalieRefugeeDash    PlayingFreedomDash  PlayingFreedomDash7   PlayingFreedomDash6

The project is described a follows:

2015-2016 Global Studies Service Learning Project: Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it’s       the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”– Mahatma Gandhi

Essential question: How can I be a Human Rights Defender?
Introduction:  It has become a tradition in the 7th grade to end the year with a service       learning project that allows you to incorporate a DEEPER UNDERSTANDING of                 REGIONS we have studied, to engage in SOCIAL CHANGE, to foster and engender           empathy and COMPASSION, to learn about and hopefully connect with a HUMAN           RIGHTS DEFENDER , and to raise money for CHARITY.  As a class, we will brainstorm     possible regions and topics from which you and your group can choose.  This project       will entail both INDIVIDUAL and GROUP WORK.  It will culminate in a SERVICE                 LEARNING DAY at the end of May where you will be able to showcase you and your         group’s work.

This is one more example of the power of Minecraft as an educational tool. 

Next on the docket- a study of genetics in Minecraft. Stay tuned.

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