Craig Reucassel (ABCs War on Waste; The Chaser) was in Freshwater this morning, 20 April, with the somewhat-sombre task of helping the next generation arm themselves against the effects of climate change.
Reucassel attended St John the Baptist Primary School in Freshwater to introduce school students to a new Minecraft world called “Climate Warriors”, an educational adjunct to the Minecraft: Education Edition, a game available to primary students free of charge from the NSW Department of Education.
Set in a custom-built landscape inspired by Australian coastal towns, Climate Warriors uses NRMA Insurance real-world data and climate change research, which predicts that extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and damaging in the future as the average global mean temperature is expected to rise by another degree as soon as 2035.
Climate Warriors is aimed at students between seven and 12, and is designed to educate them on being prepared for real life natural disasters, such as bush fires.
Reucassel, who is also author of ‘Fight for Planet A’ and presenter of the four part ABC TV series ‘War on Waste’ which featured the Northern Beaches, was there to host and introduce students to the new, specially made Minecraft landscape.
Reucassel said we need to be acting on trying to prevent, as much as we can, the impacts of climate change already being seen, and thinks the current generation of young Australians are much more environmentally aware.
“Unfortunately, we have left it too late, so this generation are going to have to engage. They’ve already experienced things like the 2019/2020 Black summer here in Australia, so they are much more aware of it, and it is a much bigger threat to their generation”.
He told Manly Observer he thought it was a great idea for kids to learn about things like climate change and natural disasters through gameplay.
“It’s not hard to get the kids into Minecraft, you know, they’re having so much fun and they’re getting into it, it’s just a good way of getting them engaged”.
Microsoft learning delivery specialist Andrew Balzer, said the modern learning tools were an effective way to helping young people grasp big and important concepts.
“Through the immersive experience of a Minecraft world, students can conceptualise and understand what’s happening to the ecosystem on our planet,” he said.
“One of the exciting things, like what is happening today, is that they can use tools such as Minecraft to get deeper knowledge on what is actually happening; the very real threat of climate change itself”.
Climate Warriors is available from tomorrow; all NSW Government schools are provided with free access to Minecraft: Education Edition, from the NSW Department of Education.