Design Thinking, Creativity and Technology.

Innovation Sports competition brings together Design Thinking, Creativity and Technology in a sporting environment with Minecraft as the building tool.

Seven girls this year (click here for last year’s event) from Year 6 & 7 competed in STEM Punk’s Minecraft competition in Ipswich. The girls spent the month prior to the competition, during lunch time on Wednesdays, to work through the design thinking process in tackling a challenge to design and create a solution to a ‘kick off’ issue/problem in Minecraft. Ella McPhee from STEM Punk zoomed in during a meeting to answer questions and support our team. The girls thoroughly enjoyed talking to Ella.

STEM Punks invited teams from schools in the SEQ region – each team could have up to 10 students. The students were sent a ‘hint’ in the week leading up to the competition on what the topic would be. Our girls were in Round 1 with the topic ‘Flying Car Station’, the topic for Round 2 was ‘Sun Safe Pools’.

On the day, all students use the same equipment (provided by STEM Punks) to ensure equity. The Kick Off Card was presented and the girls worked as a team for 45 minutes to design and build a solution to the kick off….’Flying cars are coming to South East Queensland: Design and Build a facility for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Taxi’s (like a train station but for aerial transport across the region). Their design was built quickly demonstrating technical skills and creative ideas’.

The girls were excited their team effort and build had earned them a place in the finals!

The kick-off card for the finals was ‘Ipswich wants to build a dedicated arena for watching eSports: Design and build a different type of stadium where the audience can comfortably view all the action’.

The girls quickly started discussing and brainstorming ideas, planning and then onto the build…following the Design Thinking Process. The team had technical issues with their device, but they were resilient and worked quickly and together to build a fabulous stadium with a cart to deliver food and beverages to the audience and a pressure sensor for the winner to stand on which set off fireworks!

Each team presented their solution to the Kick Off card. Our team was so excited to hear they had WON!

This competition is excellent.  It provides students the opportunity to work as a team to explore a topic, define it, discuss ideas, prototype a solution, test it and then iterate into a final solution using Minecraft, all within a timeframe of 45 minutes.

The competition has a sporting feel where the audience can watch each team build their solution! It gets very exciting and fully engages each team member.

The trophy is the best, amazing… watch the video below which celebrates the event and see the trophy!!! 🙂


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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!