A Visual Guide to #SustainabilityCity


What are Visual Guides

Visual guides are illustrated hi-resolution notes - often a single page - that summarize and synthesize the learnings associated with some related content (tutorial, talk, course, documentation etc.). The goal is to provide visual learners with a pre-read or post-recap resource for their learning journey, helping them understand, retain, and recall, the information more easily.

What is Sustainability City?

Sustainability City is a digital world - found in the Minecraft Education Edition - where students can explore various aspects of sustainable living from green housing and recycling, to forestry and wastewater management. It was also one of the recommended resources for #EarthDay exploration in schools and remains a popular resource for educators. You can also find other challenges

In the game, players board eco-friendly green buses and explore one of six regions, each providing a glimpse at one facility that contributes to sustainable living in cities. Here is a community member’s tour of the world, in under 8 minutes.

The visual guide I created provides an illustrated summary of the information acquired in each stop, providing both a quick recap resource (to refresh your memory, as a student) and a classroom display resource (to motivate in-class group discussions, as an educator).

As shown in the visual, you explore sustainable city living by visiting six zones where you can talk to various folks to get answers to signature questions like:

* Where does our food come from?
* How can we become water-positive? (replenish more water than we use)
* How can we build more sustainably at city-scale?
* How can we be more energy-efficient in our homes?
* Where does our energy come from? Is it clean?
* How can we preserve our forests?

Why create this Visual Guide?

On April 1, 2021, we launched our #VisualGreenTech challenge as a precursor to our #EarthDay celebration on the Hello World show. =You can read more about the objectives and outcomes in our Retrospective post. This guide was inspired by one of those prompts:

But in reality, my exploration had already begun the day after we launched the series. As a Microsoft employee, I realized I had access to Minecraft Education Edition - and so I began exploring the Sustainability City experience with my 12yo:

And on the day the prompt actually launched, we were ready to release our first home-made video production, inspired by our learning journey:

And we continue to explore how we can apply the things we learned, to our daily lives. Some of the ways we do this is to ask questions of things we took for granted - like asking:

Where does my water come from?

Answer: Hudson Valley has water reservoirs near our home, that we visited to learn about their sustainability practices

What is one thing I can do to reduce my carbon footprint during the pandemic?

Answer: we are all on more video conference calls now - so let’s try to keep video off unless we are speaking. Video takes more data, consuming more electricity from the power grid

I hope you find this a useful exercise as you review the visual guide with your kids or students. Have comments or questions? Reach out on Twitter or leave a comment on the community site where you discovered this.

And don’t forget to follow @sketchthedocs for more visual guides!

About Minecraft Education Edition

This is a platform is build for game-based learning that tackles real-world challenges while instilling a sense of curiosity and creative play in students. Educators (and parents) can use defined lesson plans to design activities or facilitate discussions to foster actionable learning!

There are numerous worlds to explore - with opportunities to also build coding skills with a cross-curricular collection of computer science lessons. Students can now advance from block-based coding, to popular languages like Python and JavaScript, while gaining computational and storytelling skills!

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