Minecraft Education Challenge

2022 NYCDOE Minecraft Education Net Zero Challenge

Net Zero Challenge: NYC logo with the minecraft and nyc doe logos over a minecraft city

The 2022 NYC Minecraft Education challenge is here! This challenge provides an opportunity for the students of NYCDOE to design and build solutions in Minecraft Education that lower the carbon footprint of New York City and make our city more sustainable and accessible for all New Yorkers. Students who submit projects by the priority deadline of Friday, May 13 will have their submissions considered for inclusion at the Stockholm+50 conference in June 2022, where mayors from around the world will be celebrating 50 years of global environmental action. The final deadline for students to submit projects is Friday, May 27.

About the Challenge

By making important changes today to reduce greenhouse gas-emitting activities and actively replacing them with clean ones, NYC has big plans to reduce its carbon footprint as part of its ONENYC goal to equitably reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Your challenge is to design and build a solution in Minecraft: Education Edition that addresses one of the following NYC sustainability challenges:

  1. Greener Buildings: Design and implement solutions to create new buildings or retrofit existing ones to increase energy efficiency and reduce water consumption.
  2. Efficient Mobility: Help New Yorkers get around our city sustainably! Design a new or enhanced mode of transportation that utilizes modern technology to improve mobility options especially for disabled New Yorkers.
  3. Zero Waste: Design an intervention, such as a system, structure, or resource, that can help New Yorkers reduce, reuse, and recycle.

In this challenge you will:

  • Visit and explore the five boroughs of NYC
  • Learn more about the City of New York’s sustainability plans and strategy
  • Speak with and learn from a variety of experts from the City of New York
  • Design and build a solution to build a better NYC

You will begin by meeting the Mayor and Director of Sustainability to learn about the challenge, things to consider and ideas to help inspire your build. 

Next, you will encounter the Park Ranger and Water Treatment Plant Manager to learn about Inwood Hill Park and the Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant to learn about the current situation and be inspired by ideas for focusing your build!

After that, you will meet the Construction Manager, Park Designer and Coney Island Community Activist to learn about Yankee Stadium, Freshkills Park and Coney Island Creek to learn about current opportunities for creating greener buildings, helping to expand accessibility and reduce waste in NYC. 

Finally, you will meet the Teacher Guides to learn about using the resources to prepare for and get started on the challenge! 

Important Things to Know About the 2022 Minecraft Challenge

  • All students grades K-12 can participate
  • Students can work individually or in groups for this project
  • Student teams will submit their Minecraft solution to the challenge by creating a 2-minute video of their Minecraft world that explains their solution for making NYC more sustainable and/or accessible.
  • Student submissions will be judged by a panel of experts from the NYCDOE and Microsoft. Judges will use this rubric to assess students’ Minecraft solutions. Judges will add an additional rating to the builds with the highest scores from each grade to showcase the Best Pitch, Most Innovative, and Most Impactful.The best submissions from each grade will be showcased on a FlipGrid Mixtape in the first week of June.

Important Dates

Challenge launches: Monday, April 11
Priority deadline for challenge submissions: Friday, May 13
Final deadline for challenge submissions: Friday, May 27

For questions, email us at STEM@schools.nyc.gov.

How to Participate in the Challenge

  • Review the Net Zero Challenge: NYC Student Guide to learn more about the challenge.
  • Download the Net Zero NYC Minecraft world and explore the different spaces and sites, taking care to meet the different city officials and representatives who can give you more information about the specific locations in each borough. Then, you will be led to the build plate, where you can begin to build your sustainable solution.
  • Reviews the resources on the NYCDOE Minecraft Education Challenge 2022: Net Zero Challenge LibGuide to get more specific information about the city and some of the sustainability and accessibility challenges that each site in the city faces.
  • Once you have access to Minecraft: Education Edition, download the custom NYC world. Once you download and open the world, students will spawn at Battery Park in Manhattan. NPC’s in the game will share information that you will need for the challenge before teleporting players to the challenge build plate. Teams have freedom to create anything on and around the build plate. Then, build out your sustainable solution in the Net Zero NYC world or another template world.
  • Review the rubric before you start so you understand what the judges are looking for.
  • Work on your challenge submission and design a solution using blocks and items in Minecraft to address a pressing issue facing New York City.
  • Once you are ready to submit, you (and your teammates, if you are working in a team) should use Flipgrid to create a video touring their Minecraft build, with voiceover explaining your project.
  • Submit your project through a Flipgrid screen recording that is no more than 2 minutes in length. Please make sure to use your @nycstudents.net email address that was assigned to you by the NYCDOE to submit your recording on FlipGrid. If you do not know what your @nycstudents.net email address is, ask your teacher or an adult at your school so that they can assist you.
  • Check out these tips for using Flipgrid.

Students will also be able to research selected sustainability issues in New York City by reviewing resources on the NYCDOE Minecraft Education Challenge 2022: Net Zero Challenge LibGuide. When your research is complete, you will craft your solution.

Get Started with Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft: Education Edition is free to all NYC Department of Education students through their DOE student account. See step 2 below for instructions on how to access your student account to download Minecraft: Education Edition for free

Download Minecraft

If you need your student account, follow these simple steps, or ask your teacher for help.

  1. Download Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac, iPad, and Chromebook.
  2. After you download the software, you will sign in using your NYCDOE student account.
  3. If you have a DOE issued iPad, the Minecraft app should already be on your device.
  4. If you have a school-issued Chromebook (from 2019 or newer), you will need help from your school's technology teacher to download the software. 

Guide to Multiplayer

Multiplayer is one of the most popular and effective ways to leverage Minecraft and is a great way to keep students connected with classmates, even when collaborating remotely. Working together encourages collaboration, communication and problem solving as students work together on projects in a shared Minecraft world.

Multiplayer across different internet connections is possible as long as the criteria in the multiplayer guide is met. Every home network is different, so it's possible that some players may not be able to join a multiplayer session from their respective networks due to distinct configuration settings. Anti-virus and firewall applications may block access to multiplayer, so ensure you configure these programs to allow access to Minecraft: Education Edition.