In May and June, five Whitewater Elementary students from Lakeview and Washington Elementary, with the help of a little brother, completed the Federal Aviation Administration’s Minecraft Airport Design Challenge. One of Autumn Robb’s Lakeview teachers sent her the information about this challenge so she got a team together. These five kids learned a lot about airports and three of the kids had never played Minecraft before this project! Each week during this challenge, students had to research and explore different parts of the airport. These students chose the Fort Atkinson Municipal Airport as their airport to research and design to scale in Minecraft. In their first week they learned about airport safety markings and different types of pavement used at airports. They then began designing their airport in Minecraft to scale. In week two they learned about airport safety and researched safety features at the Fort Atkinson Municipal airport. In week three of their project they learned about airport lighting which included the different types of lights and colors on the runways. They also learned about the different types of buildings you would find at an airport. In week four of their project they learned about the word innovation and were able to create additions to their airport. The Whitewater Pixels created a FBO (Fixed Based Operation) store for pilots to get a bite to eat, a treehouse for kids to watch the airplanes take off and land, a security building, fencing around the runway and added solar panels to their beacon light.
The highlight of the project was meeting with the Airport Manager, Andy Selle, virtually to learn more about the airport and future vision for the airport. These five kids met virtually to go through the lessons and decide what to build on their airport each week. When the airport design was completed, they submitted a 17 page google slide show of their project. Three judges scored their project. The Whitewater Pixels did not get a top award but received certificates of participation. One judge stated “One of my favorites. You did a very good job explaining what you learned, and I can tell that you put a lot of time and effort into your project. Great work!,” and gave their project a score of 76/80! It was a fun learning experience for all of these kids.
Students who participated in this challenge were: Hailey Peterson (5th Grade), Elijah Gonsior (4th Grade), Blake Robb (4th Grade), Josie Selby (5th Grade) and Autumn Robb (5th Grade)