To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Minecraft: Education Edition has launched new renewable energy lessons and immersive worlds. This content is available for educators and students using Minecraft: Education Edition as well as Minecraft players on the Bedrock platform. Students can explore different energy sources, solve a town’s power problems, and design and manage a sustainable city—all in Minecraft! For students learning from home during school closures, the Lumen City Challenge and Lumen Power Challenge provide a fun way to bring Earth Day into the virtual classroom or home learning environment.

These two new lessons were developed by EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s largest sustainable energy innovation engine, in partnership with the Minecraft creators at Blockworks. The Lumen City Challenge invites students to manage a city’s infrastructure, which involves selecting power sources and keeping budgets balanced. As students build their ideal city, they learn the challenges of energy storage and the delicate balance between cost, power output, and pollution. In the Lumen Power Challenge, learners repair a town’s energy infrastructure including offshore wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, and a hydroelectric dam. Each of these challenges offers students a unique opportunity to use critical thinking to solve problems in-game and learn about real-world energy issues.

Anyone with a valid Office 365 Education account can access Minecraft: Education Edition through June 2020. If you don’t already have Minecraft: Education Edition, you can get started here. Access the Lumen challenges in the in-game lesson library. (For those using other versions of the game, Minecraft Bedrock players can download the maps from the in-game Marketplace where they are available for free as part of a new Education Collection through June 2020.)

For the first time since its founding in 1970, Earth Day will be celebrated mostly online with learning resources like Minecraft: Education Edition, shared by organizations around the world to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage people to act. Minecraft also supports the current need for distance learning with features and content that help keep students connected, engaged, and inspired. From the new Lumen renewable energy challenges to immersive lessons introducing topics like wildlife conservation and biodiversity, Minecraft: Education Edition provides educators and families with great options to celebrate Earth Day from home this year.

Check out the Earth Day lessons and worlds for Minecraft: Education Edition to use in your virtual classroom and explore other Minecraft distance learning resources.