National Highways (formerly Highways England) has teamed up with popular videogame Minecraft to encourage young engineers into the infrastructure industry.
The STEM learning package, aimed at children, allows players to explore three proposed roads schemes that have been created in the game: the Lower Thames Crossing, A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements, and the A303 past Stonehenge.
Players can learn what road designers have to take into account when planning such schemes, including archaeology, biology, ecology, civil engineering, communications technology, and coding.
Five games and a creative mode have been developed, along with lesson plans that teachers can use with their students aged 7-11 (key stage 2) and 11-14 (key stage 3).
Commenting on the initiative, National Highways talent delivery lead Natalie Jones said: “We want to inspire the next generation of talented engineers and scientists, on whom the country’s infrastructure and national economy will one day depend.
“Our ambition is to seek out the next James Dyson or Dame Sarah Gilbert and help put them on the path to a fascinating life and career.
“With the help of Minecraft and the in-game activities, students will get first-hand experience of what would go into building a huge bridge or digging a giant tunnel.
“In real life, these are multi-million pound structures that are carefully designed and then built by experts.”
She added: “These skills and expertise help to create the motorways and main roads that keep us all moving, whether going to work, delivering goods or keeping families and friends connected.”
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