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    Student Minecraft concept teaches government a thing or two about national park design

    Nathan Johnson

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    A team of South Australian primary school students have won a design competition using the video game Minecraft to help the State Government in designing real-life national parks.

    Grade three and four students from Linden Park Primary School won the Create Your Perfect National Park Minecraft competition which was announced by the SA State Government in April and asked students to use video game Minecraft to design their ideal national park.

    The students’ “Leafy Sea Dragon National Park” design – see video below– was awarded as the winner ahead of a massive number of entries from primary school classes around the state of SA.

    The design incorporates a giant, climbable leafy sea dragon sculpture, a host of retail amenities, a gift shop, a plant nursery and a number of outdoor wheelchair accessible facilities.

    The student’s design also recognises the importance of practicality and sustainability. Safe surfaces for walking, wheelchair access and architecture massing where also considered by the Linden Park children as was a plant nursery for native seedling growth.

    “We thought about how families are going to use it,” one student explains in the video.

    “You wouldn’t just put a BBQ there - you would also put shelters, tables…and toilets, so they don’t have to walk a long way.”

    Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter told Adelaide’s INDaily that the competition was an innovative way to consult with young people, and would have a very practical application for the design of environmental recreation spaces.

    “Asking children to share their ideas requires different methods to engaging with adults,” Hunter said.

    “Whilst this competition is a lot of fun, these entries show us what children really want to do in our national parks, and while we can’t use all of the wonderful ideas we’ve received, they will inform the design of new natural play areas.

    The State Government has set aside $10.4 million for infrastructure projects to increase the number of people visiting metropolitan national parks.

    The winning class won a full day’s excursion to Belair National Park.

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