This is something I’ve been working on for a few months now. Some students may remember building shared houses in the starter town template towards the end of 2019 and unfortunately I lost that world when my laptop died after the end of term 1 this year. The good news is that there is a new version of the starter town with even more good stuff – extra buildings like a hospital, police station and school plus heaps of general improvements. So I decided to discard many hours of my own time preparing the town and started again. I’m calling the world ‘Brewerton’ as a hat tip to Mr Merrick Brewer who approved our use of Minecraft Education Edition in 2019 as a small scale experiment.
Ok, so let’s start a quick tour of Brewerton. Here’s the town hall:
The town hall is a central meeting point for all citizens of Brewerton. I have put several boards inside containing the rules and guidelines for everyone to read, understand and follow. They may be updated as required. The upper room of the town hall contains a series of large chests (all currently empty) that are there for citizens to share common resources that everyone needs.
The buildings around the town hall are all new additions which include a hospital, police station, fire station and school. In my latest version I have also added a citizen trading centre in the park in front of the school (red building). These are all common buildings for people to explore, but should definitely not be altered or damaged for any reason. Accidents will happen of course and repairs will inevitably be required.
The empty lots with the grey concrete base are for future collaborative build projects where we will build shops and a bigger school (behind the hospital). The shops will be businesses run by students where they sell goods that they ‘make’ in exchange for emeralds – the main currency of Minecraft. In order to make these goods students must obtain the elements they need using sustainable farming and mining practices. More about those later.
Just across the river we have the housing lots which you can see in the grassy squares with the numbers. The starter town template has 30 lots, but I have extended this to 54. Each 10 x 10 lot will be the site of a shared ‘townhouse’ to be built by students in groups of 3 – 5. If 4 is the average then I will have enough for 216 students which is just right for all the students in years 3 – 6 (8 classes x 27 = 216). Of course, in order to build their houses students must obtain the resources in a way that is respectful of the environment and others.
The first thing citizens will need is timber to build tools and their houses, but the last thing we want is for these beautiful trees around Brewerton to be chopped down. Yes, I know they’re not real, but they are there for everyone to enjoy, including the local animals which should also not be harmed especially the pandas and polar bears (they are protected).
Ok this rule might seem a bit tough, but the intent is that all our land use practices are sustainable. This means that we are thinking about the future and the needs of others including the local wildlife. Students shouldn’t damage trees by removing just part of the trunk nor should they remove all the leaves from a tree leaving it bare. A tree should be completely chopped down then at least 1 sapling immediately planted to replace it.
Whilst all citizens of Brewerton have a shared townhouse they also share a small home village with other students where they can build their own house – which should match the style of the village. There are 20 of these villages that I’ve located and I have provided a convenient way to teleport to each of these villages from the town hall (details below on how to do this).
The areas around these villages are where students should do most of their farming (tree, crops, animals) and mining. They should still be done in a sustainable way, but this way it is more dispersed and doesn’t do major damage to a small area. There is a very real temptation for students to visit every village and simply take whatever they find there. This might be acceptable if you were playing on your own computer but in a shared world where people are investing time and energy into creating and maintaining these villages this must be strongly discouraged.
When you first arrive in Brewerton you should begin in the pavilion in front of the town hall that has the ‘Main Objectives’ board. These objectives are in order – so your first goal is to build a house in the town – I’m calling them townhouses. These are shared houses that you must build with 2 – 4 others from your year level.
Each year level will be assigned a range of lots to build on so that they are quite close together. Here are the assignments:
|Year Level||Lot Range (start – end)|
|3||1 – 14|
|4||15 – 28|
|5||29 – 42|
|6||43 – 56|
You should talk to the others in your year level to negotiate who you will build with. If students cannot find a place to share with others then I will assign them to a lot. Since townhouses can be multi level there is plenty of space for each person to have a whole floor to themselves – probably 2. Please observe the height and depth limits specified in the building guidelines in the town hall.
Once you have claimed a lot it’s now time to get building, but hold on… Remember what I wrote earlier about sustainable practices? This is where it starts. One of the first things you’ll need is some wood to make tools, build a crafting table, a chest and for building a house. Every tree you chop down must be replaced with a sapling.
You should plant the sapling right where you removed the tree. The logs from the tree will allow you craft planks and with planks you can build and also craft sticks for making better tools and a crafting table to make many more useful things. It all starts with the first tree.
Here are some basic recipes:
Once you have planks, sticks and a crafting table you are now ready to do some mining. First you need some stone tools which will be much better than wooden ones. Mine some stone then use your crafting table to craft a stone pickaxe.
Your next goal should be to get some iron ore and coal. This is essential for making iron tools and torches which you will need to do some serious mining.
On the right side of the town hall you will find several NPCs named TD1 – 4. These are teleportation droids that can teleport you to 6 locations each. There are 20 villages and a few other places of interest currently programmed into the droids.
If you press button A you will be teleported to village A where there is an NPC starting with the letter A that will teleport you back to the town hall.
Use the droids to move around quickly and discover new areas to mine. Remember, there are several rules to follow when mining published in the town hall.
Brewerton 10 Commandments
Just in case it wasn’t clear – I didn’t create this world. I’ve simply modified the original to add a few extra things to accomodate planned student activities. You can find the original world here where you can download it (you need to decompress the zip file) and have a look. Remember, any changes you make to the starter town world that you download will not be included in the one we use as a school.
The trading centre is also something I added but didn’t create myself. I copied the exact details from a youtube video by Fed X Gaming called ‘Minecraft: Simple Two Player Trading System’.