Engineering industry charity Enginuity has teamed up with vertical farming company Farm Urban to launch a new Minecraft game which teaches children about sustainability and engineering careers in the food industry.
The vertical farming-themed Skills Miner game will be targeted at Key Stage 3 students – aged 11 to 14 – to boost their ‘green skills’.
The game has been developed in partnership with vertical farming experts at Farm Urban – the company behind Liverpool’s first vertical farming space.
Senior Digital Product Manager at Enginuity, Helenna Vaughan‑Smith said: “I’m so excited to be launching the vertical farming Skills Miner game focused on the future of food.
“We have joined forces with experts in industry, education and Minecraft to create educational resources we are really proud of.”
Players of Skills Miner Vertical Farming work as engineers on a vertical farm located in an abandoned carpet factory. The aim of the game is to turn the run-down farm into one that is able to sustain the food requirements of a virtual Minecraft city.
The game has been created to inspire a new generation of engineers, providing them with the basic skills to begin thinking about how to solve the food challenges affecting today’s industry, such as security and climate change.
Co-Founder and Managing Director of Farm Urban, Dr Paul Meyers, said: “We are delighted to have provided our expertise in the development of Enginuity’s Skills Miner vertical farming game. It is a great way to encourage young people to find healthier and more sustainable solutions to the broken food system.
“The more people that become aware of vertical farming as a part of the solution, the better.”
He added: “Our vertical farm shows it’s possible to grow nutritious superfoods in ways that are good for the planet and allow the produce to taste great and stay fresh for longer. This is food for the future, grown in cities fit for the future.”
Both companies worked together to develop the game concept and ensure the correct engineering roles are represented, with Farm Urban giving Enginuity virtual and physical tours of its vertical farming space in Liverpool to inspire the design of the game.
Enginuity’s online Skills Miner games and resources are free to use, and are designed for use during lessons, extra-curricular enrichment activities, or after school clubs.
Vaughan‑Smith added: “There is engineering in everything, and if young people can engage with STEM and engineering careers in an exciting and relevant way, they have the capability to change their world and ours. We just need to give them the opportunity to explore it.
“Through the game, teachers will now be able to bring exciting new careers and green skills into the classroom environment and draw the link for students between science, the curriculum, sustainability, future green skills and careers.”
Education is crucial to inspiring the next generation about the future of food. Find out how the food education system could be improved in this Food Matters Live podcast episode: