Co-Taught Lesson Recordings & Challenge Information

Sustainability City with Minecraft: Education Edition

Missed a lesson?  Want to watch the guest speaker again?  Need to review sustainability concepts before submitting your build challenge?

Use the recorded lessons (90 minutes) below to explore 6 different sustainable processes with The Cobblestone Collective & Minecraft: Education Edition.

Sustainable Food Production

English & French

  • Inside this 90-minute lesson, you will:
  • Learn our key vocabulary words.
  • Visit a farm, a waste facility, and a recycling plant, and learn that the food you purchase is made up of multiple products and services, and each should be sustainable.
  • Meet a 4th generation Prairie Rancher and learn how he uses sustainable practices every day.
Dans cette leçon de 90 minutes, vous allez:
  • Apprendre des mots de vocabulaire clés.
  • Visiter une ferme, une déchetterie et une usine de recyclage et apprendre que la nourriture que vous achetez est composée de plusieurs produits et services, et que chacun doit être durable.
  • Rencontrer Jaimy Polman, un producteur agricole et visiter sa ferme bio. Vous découvrirez comment il utilise chaque jour des pratiques durables.

Build challenge 1

Your challenge is to build a sustainable farm on a 65 X 65 block plot (1 acre). Create your farm in the blocks of grass world, or in the valley that is to the left of the farm in Sustainability City.

Did you know one acre is 65 m²? One acre is enough land to sustain a family of four, but only if it is farmed efficiently, with the most sustainable methods!

Like a good farmer, you must answer some very important questions. Choose the question below that fits with your level of Minecraft skills, as well as your understanding of sustainability!

Answer one or all of these questions in your build:

  1. How will you care for the soil?  Think about rotational grazing/growing, and compost.
  2. How will you care for the water? Think about irrigation, riparian zone protection, and water run-off.
  3. Will your farm include animals? How will you care for them?  Think about animal welfare, feed for animals, space for animals, and products from the animals.

Sustainable Home

Inside this 90-minute lesson, you will:

  • Learn our key vocabulary words.
  • Visit a home built using sustainable materials and explores the features that contribute to efficiency. We’ll learn about the complexities of creating a sustainable home and what they can do to contribute to energy efficiency.
  • Meet an Eco-Home Developer (owner of Eco Custom Homes) and tour a new eco-home development!

Build challenge 2

HGTV has invited you to join their Master Eco Homebuilder Coulter Lewis to design and build an Eco/Sustainable Home to celebrate Earth Week 2021 and commit to sustainable living.

Your goal for this build challenge is to build a Minecraft Sustainable home and reach the Sustainable Home Master Builder Level (3) but to do this, you must complete all levels of the challenge.

For this Sustainable Home Build Challenge, you will complete your build on the lot behind the sustainable home we toured in Sustainability City World.

Remember to fill your inventory with only sustainable materials!

Level 1 – Sustainable Apprentice

Build a sustainable, energy-efficient home based on your climate using sustainable materials such as wood, glass, or other renewable or recyclable products.


  • Other sources of power sun (solar panels), wind, and water
  • Insulation
  • Provide multiple ways to let natural light in (windows, skylights, etc.)
  • Other ways you can make your home sustainable

Level 2 – Sustainable Artisan

Add more items to your sustainable home to make it more energy-efficient.


  • Energy-efficient Appliances
  • Furnace
  • Ducts for ventilation
  • Blackout curtains/blinds (if needed)
  • Harvest rainwater
  • Recycle/compost bins
  • Trees/plants for shade

Level 3 – Sustainable Master Builder

Add finishing touches to your sustainable home to make it more energy-efficient.


  • Switches/levers for lights (turning them on and off)
  • Restone/coding as a way to power your appliances
  • Cool roof or green roof
  • Garage with charging station for your electric car
  • Plant garden or fruit trees
  • Landscape with native vegetation for your region (remember what you learned in Build Challenge 1)

It's Good to be Green

Inside this 90-minute lesson, you will:

  • Learn our key vocabulary words.
  • Visit the local recycling plant, then explore the landfill and waste-to-energy plant. Through these experiences, they’ll find out what materials are recyclable and what happens to materials that aren’t.
  • Meet the liaison between the recycling program and schools from the County of Northumberland!

Build challenge 3

You're commissioned to produce a piece of art that viewers will not only admire and discuss but that will also have a message.

You get to be an artistic architect or an architectural artist — your choice. 

Things to consider as you design your artistic build:

  • Think about the elements of design and use colour, texture, line, space, form, and some degree of unity/harmony in your work.
  • Remember, colour can be interpreted in many ways.
  • Use monochromatic colours, complementary colours, analogous colours, tints, and shades.
  • Space is not just about filling in but also about leaving out, and that focal point will make the viewer’s eye be drawn to something you want them to definitely see.


Just as the artist Bordalo II uses garbage that he finds in the city and uses that art to make a statement about the wastefulness of our society, you now have the opportunity to make a statement in the Minecraft: Education Edition world using the resources available to create a sculpture that can remind people of sustainability.

Your message should come across in the materials you use (don’t forget that in creative mode, you have ALL the resources at your fingertips!) and the features you build into your sculpture (like water conservation or heat control). 

Go big. The sky’s the limit. You are the artist. Plan. Explore the resources. Think about how the resources can be used sustainably then build. 

Pick a spot in the square around the green office building or on the side of a building and have fun!

Outflow Order

English & Spanish

  • Inside this 90-minute lesson, you will:
  • Learn our key vocabulary words.
  • Discover how water gets from their drains to the treatment plant, how biosolids contribute to fertilizer, and how treated water returns to their homes.
  • Take a virtual tour of a real-life water treatment plant!
Dentro de esta lección de 90 minutos, podrás:
  • Aprenda nuestras palabras clave de vocabulario.
  • Descubra cómo el agua llega desde los desagües a la planta de tratamiento, cómo los biosólidos contribuyen al fertilizante y cómo el agua tratada regresa a sus hogares.
  • ¡Realice un recorrido virtual por una planta de tratamiento de agua real!

Build challenge 4

Oh no! Disaster has struck at the farmhouse! The pipes in the old house weren’t up for the demands, and have burst. We need your expertise, and soon, it’s stinky over here!

Now that you understand the six steps of the Outflow Order, the farmer has asked you to create a mini-purification system right on the farm. 

There are two challenge levels to solve this problem:

  1. Use traditional building materials. Consider how cement and other blocks might impact the farm. 
  2. Use all-natural building materials. Spider webs as filtration, anyone??


Makes sure to include all six (6) steps in your build:

  1. Screens – catches big items
  2. Grit Chamber – catches small items
  3. Primary Clarifier – separates water from sludge
  4. Aeration Basin – uses oxygen and bacteria for filtration
  5. Second Clarification – separates water from more sludge
  6. Disinfection- uses chemicals and UV to kill remaining microorganisms

You’re beginning to understand how connected all of the world is. Consider how you can connect the farm’s irrigation system or the biosolids plant to your design for an extra challenge.

Click here for some pro tips from The Cobblestone Collective team when using water!

Dependable Forests

Inside this 90-minute lesson, you will:

  • Learn our key vocabulary words.
  • Journey to a lumberyard, hike into the woods to see what a 40-year sustainable forest cycle looks like. Then we will explore a trail where learners encounter a conservationist and a local hiker.
  • Explore the dry log sort first hand in Ladysmith, British Columbia.

Build challenge 5

Design and grow a scenic hike through a dependable forest for future generations to use and enjoy. Use your skills to reach Dependable Forests Master Builder Level (3)!

For this Dependable Forest Build Challenge, you will complete your build on a new block of grass template.

Level 1 – Forest Apprentice

Your goal for this challenge is to create a scenic hike through a dependable forest that has the dimensions of 25mx25m (area of 625 m²) which is equivalent to 25 blocks by 25 blocks.

Be sure to include a single pathway or trail for individuals to navigate through your forest and explore what it has to offer, at least two kinds of trees for your biodiversity, and one level of elevation at various points.

Consider the placement of your plant life around your trail and perhaps an access point for future loggers.

Level 2 – Forests Artisan

Your goal for this challenge is to complete all of the level 1 tasks and expand your scenic hike through a dependable forest to the dimensions of 50m x 50m (area of 2500 m²) which is 50 blocks x 50 blocks.

Expand on your scenic hike pathways by adding in some stairs and a path that travels in more than one direction. Increase your biodiversity to at least three kinds of trees and increase your elevation to at least two levels (two blocks).

Continue to consider the placement of your plant life around your pathways/trails and perhaps a fence to protect your dependable forest from intruders.

Level 3 – Forests Master Builder

Your goal for this challenge is to complete both levels 1 & 2 and expand your scenic hike even further through a dependable forest to a full hectare! That’s right- a beautiful hike through the dimensions of 100m x 100m (area of 10,000m²) or 100 blocks x 100 blocks.

Build on your scenic hike complexity by adding in additional pathways- perhaps even with a bridge or a boardwalk like you would see in many of British Columbia’s forests. Also, maximize your biodiversity by including at least four kinds of trees, at least three levels of elevation (blocks), and perhaps even a coastline to transport your future fallen trees by barge.

Additional Resources

Watch these videos of Dependable Forests in British Columbia to spark ideas for your Scenic Hike Build Challenge.

Alternative Energy

Inside this 90-minute lesson, you will:

  • Learn our key vocabulary words.
  • Explore a hydropower plant, climb a ladder to learn about wind power and even have a chance to restart one of the turbines for the plant’s workers!
  • Meet our guest speaker whose all about Alternative Energy (Lion Electric Co) with regards to school transportation.

Build challenge 6

You've been hired by Clean Energy Canada to help them build the next electric bus for schools around the world.

Choose a level of challenge that matches your Minecraft knowledge as well as your learning during our time together! Build your electric bus on the lot at the Waste-To-Energy Plant we toured together in Sustainability City.

Level 1 – Alternative Energy Apprentice

Your goal for this challenge is to build a new electric bus that uses other sources of power.  Consider other energies such as the sun (solar panels), wind, water, or waste to help you power your bus.

Make sure to source sustainable materials such as wood, glass, or other renewable or recyclable products for parts of the bus (like seats, window panes).

Finished building? Consider these questions:

  • What are other ways you can make your electric bus more sustainable and powerful?
  • Can you use more than one type of renewable energy for your bus?

Level 2 – Alternative Energy Artisan

Your goal for this challenge is to complete all the Level 1 tasks and add finishing touches to your electric bus such as rechargeable batteries, doors, mirrors!

You will also need to include options for charging the school bus.

Consider these questions:

  • If you are using wind power, how will it be charged when it’s parked?
  • How can you harvest the sun, water, wind, or even waste power for your electric school bus?
  • Powered by waste energy?  How could you use the people riding the bus to help collect items?

Level 3 – Alternative Energy Expert Builder

Your goal for this challenge is to complete both Levels 1 & 2 and include switches to turn your lights on and off – talk about saving power!

For this challenge you also need to install a noise maker to ensure safety of others. Electric vehicles are very quiet.  Children often don’t hear these vehicles approaching them, so make sure you create a speaker to signal the location of the bus when it’s running!

You will also need to build a garage with a charging station for your electric bus. Make sure you connect the sources of alternative energy (sun, water, waste, wind) to the garage so that your bus can have access to it easily.

Build Challenge Information Session

Inside this 90-minute info session, you will:

  • Participate in a Scavenger Hunt around Sustainability City
  • Recap all of the challenges from the 6 lessons
  • Learn more about how to enter the 2021 Sustainability City Build Challenge Contest
  • Have build time to work on your challenge entry