School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering

09/12/2019 - 15:42

Australian students will learn about our world-leading minerals industry and electric car manufacturing with a new 3D digital game for Minecraft’s Education Edition, Mine Solar Car Lab.

In an Australian first, primary and secondary school students will use the world-famous Minecraft education platform to work together to collect raw materials, then use giant machines to build an electric car.

UQ mining engineering program leader, Associate Professor Mehmet Kizil said the game allows teachers and students to collaborate in the Mine Solar Car Lab virtual environment to learn about different minerals and metals sourced from Australian mines.

“By introducing students to a modern electric car in a collaborative, interactive way, Mine Solar Car Lab will excite children about the way electric cars are built and spark interest in learning more about this rapidly-changing industry,” said Associate Professor Kizil.

“Determining strategies for managing resource scarcity and sustainability are key issues over the coming years and decades, and this perspective is an important one to introduce to students who might someday consider a career in engineering.”

Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time. Over 176 million copies have been sold across all platforms, and it has won numerous awards and accolades.

Since its release in 2011, it has amassed 91 million players worldwide.

This game demonstrates the minerals industry’s innovative approach to educating young Australians on the exciting, technologically-driven Australian minerals sector.

In the game, students visit the fictional Institute for Voltaic Propulsion, a research facility full of researchers and enormous machines. They are tasked with mining and collecting raw materials used to build major parts of an electric car, then correctly inserting them into machines that will combine them into the finished components via an abstract version of a car factory.

Transformational educational tools like Mine Solar Car Lab will also provide Australian students with the opportunity to expand their computing skills, an increasingly important part of the world-leading modern Australian minerals sector.

This valuable new educational resource, which will be available on Windows 10, iOS and Android devices, was built and designed by University of Queensland researchers and funded by Mining Education Australia and the Minerals Council of Australia.