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a promotional minecraft graphic featuring steve the main character holding a pickaxe without monsters around him in a cave

From Pixels to Prizes: RVS Students Win Awards

Ren G., a grade nine student, took home the top prize in the LitCon category.

Minecraft is a video game known for giving players a seemingly endless amount of creative freedom. From engineering complex calculators to building lavish mansions, Minecraft is incredibly versatile.

And guess who’s rocking it?

Students from the Rocky View School District (RVS) recently showed off their virtual skills, taking home some shiny awards.

The contest, Level Up Calgary Season Two: Achievement Unlocked, was organized by the City of Calgary, the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), Microsoft Canada, and the Calgary Public Library.

The challenge for the students was designing Minecraft public spaces that celebrate diversity, promote fairness, and bring people together in Calgary.

The participants had four different locations to choose from: Sien Lok Park, Fort Calgary, an underground Green Line LRT Station at Eau Claire, and the Central Library LitCon street festival.

In the LitCon category, Ren G., a Grade nine student participating in The Farm Program, won Division Three for RVS. Ren G.’s design focused on bringing people together to discuss writing and art.

Ren G. incorporated different art forms, including poetry and even food, in the design to create a vibrant space in front of the central library.

“I also wanted to put an emphasis on all forms of art. So, while writing is the main and most important one, there’s also stuff for art, and poems and other forms of writing, not just the classical books,” explained Ren G.

Madison from Chestermere East Lake Student won in Division One for RVS. Their design focused on the underground portion of the Calgary Green Line project.

Madison’s station design stood out because of its vibrancy, sustainability, and thoughtful amenities like a calm area near a fountain, compost and recycling stations, and a helpful robot.

Sophie M. and Jasmine S. from Cochrane’s Ranch View School won Division Two for RVS for the Sien Lok Park category. Their unique ideas included a greenhouse and a main stage.

The pair were commended for their efforts to create gathering spaces in Chinatown and the park, highlighting Chinese gardening skills.

In the same category, Garv S. and Lincon J. from Chestermere High School were the Division Four winners for both the Calgary Catholic School District (CSSD) and RVS.

Their winning ideas included an animatronic panda for children to play with and a welcoming Python gate that showcased Chinese culture and history.

Additionally, the pair explained the wood they used in the game and the cultural significance behind the design choice. 

Greg Luterbach, the Superintendent of Schools for RVS, congratulated all the students who participated and commended their creativity, problem-solving skills, and use of technology.

“I’m proud of the hard work and thinking that went into building inclusive and sustainable spaces where everyone belongs. And the best part is you had fun learning,” expressed Luterbach.

He thanked the teachers, administrators, and support staff for their encouragement and expressed gratitude to the City of Calgary and Microsoft Education for providing this opportunity to the students.

Of 30,000 students, 500 from RVS participated in the challenge, with 72 finalists and 19 winners. The student submissions will be displayed at the Calgary Public Library in July, along with video presentations from the finalists.

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