Martins Ferry students win Minecraft contest

Photos Provided Martins Ferry Middle School students Kameron Myers, Skyler Sall, and Makenna Klarr stand with teacher Greg Steele for a picture celebrating their winning of the National Education Foundation’s Minecraft Contest. The contest tested students digital literacy by having them create items in Minecraft that represent school spirit.

The completed product submitted by Matins Ferry middle school students proudly sits in the virtual world of Minecraft. The virtual reconstruction of Purple Rider Stadium helped the students win the contest.

MARTINS FERRY– A group of local students were recently name the winners for a national contest dealing with digital literacy.

Students of Martins Ferry Middle school competed in the National Education Foundation’s Minecraft Contest. Minecraft is an online game where players have free reign to build almost anything they can imagine.

They must accumulate the materials in a game to start construction, and from there the sky is the limit. Players have used the game to create elaborate bases and castles, and even to recreate scenes from fictions like “Game of Thrones” or “Harry Potter.”

As such, it makes a good tool for teaching digital literacy. Students from Martins Ferry Middle competing in the contest used the game in their own unique way.

“They used the game and their design skills and recreated Purple Rider Stadium,” said Martins Ferry teacher Greg Steele, the STEM/Career Tech teacher at the school.

The objective of the contest was for students to both show off the skills they had learned in digital literacy, but to build items in game that represents school spirit.

Teams of students from thirteen NEF STEM Academies throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York competed to show off their skills and school pride, and the students of Martins Ferry eagerly rose to the challenge.

Martins Ferry students Kameron Myers, Skyler Sall and Makenna Klarr worked together to design the stadium and bring it to life within the game world. The students documented every step of their design phase to submit to their teacher, and the stadium slowly took shape in the virtual world.

The students worked from Jan. 4 to Feb. 3 to complete their project, and submitted the final draft under the direction of Steele. Both he and the students were thrilled when they were announced the winners of the contest.

“It was a great thing,” Steele said. “I was really excited for them.”


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