An exciting partnership between Velindre University NHS Trust and the Cardiff University Technocamp hub is applying gamification to engage the children and young people of South East Wales in the design of the Trust’s new cancer center.
An amazing custom Minecraft world that includes the site for the new Velindre Cancer Center has been built by Cardiff University’s Technocamp Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) ambassadors.
Those entering the competition can explore the site and build a Minecraft Cancer Center with an on-site entrance hall assigned to the new building. They can also put forward ideas for the common area on the site, which will provide enhanced outdoor space available for public use once the development is completed.
Velindre Minecraft World
The competition is open to children and young people from 8 to 18 years old and will run until June 11th. It offers those who get involved the opportunity to explore the site and build not only the exterior of the new cancer center and entrance hall, but also demonstrate their ideas for what can be incorporated into the improved community space.
The custom world includes non-playing characters and blackboards that provide students with important site information and design requirements, including keeping the cancer center within 40% of the site. The blackboards will also share cancer statistics, such as by 2030, 230,000 people with cancer will live in Wales to educate young people about how cancer can affect the lives of others.
The Trust offers the nominated students the opportunity to become youth design ambassadors within the new cancer center project so that they can add their voice to the design process over the next year.
Carl James, Director of Strategic Transformation, Planning and Digital for Velindre University NHS Trust said, “We are delighted to launch this Minecraft for Education competition and see the ideas of children and youth across the region. Their input will play an influential role in the design of the new Velindre Cancer Center.
“As a trust, it is important to bring in the voices of young people to help us better understand how we can work with people to improve health, wellness and health services. The Minecraft project is exciting because it will help us design a cancer center that will compare favorably with others around the world and also help us provide knowledge and education about healthy living ‘.
“The Minecraft worlds we receive will be reviewed and shortlisted before being included in the competitive dialogue process that will take place next year. Pupils and students submitting excellent ideas will have the opportunity to join the team as ambassadors of youth design and will be invited to share their further ideas and views for the new Velindre Cancer Center and the communities using the facilities with the Trust, architects and a range of other people involved in the work. “
Dr. Catherine Teehan, Technocamps Cardiff’s academic leader commented, “We were interested to be part of the project as we recognized that Minecraft for Education can be used to educate and engage the community in cancer care in Wales.
“Minecraft for Education is a powerful tool to encourage children and young people to engage with technology and share their ideas in an inspiring way.”
As part of the competition, the primary and secondary schools involved will receive an interactive and educational workbook for students in addition to the Minecraft world. In the workbook, students treat biodiversity, community and ecological buildings as main topics.
The custom world was developed by Technocamp STEM ambassadors, including Laura Choy, who added, “Minecraft was a game I played a lot when I was a teenager, and I know very well what it can do. When our organization was approached by Velindre to use Minecraft as an educational package, I was selected to be the project manager and oversee the production of the bespoke Velindre world.
“We got a topological diagram of the area and I laid it out so that we could make a 3D model of it in Minecraft. We then organized five teams of ambassadors to build the world from scratch. The original world was a flat surface, so everything in the world was generated or placed by someone working on the project. In all, it took about two months with student ambassadors working a total of 10 hours a day on average to complete the world. “
Students can register independently for the competition, but the competition is also open for classroom teams to enter their world (s) as well.
To register for the competition, teachers and students and for more information, please visit https://velindre.nhs.wales/transformingcancerservices/velindre-cancer-centre-minecraft-competition/