RNLI teaches youngsters beach safety using computer game Minecraft

RNLI teaching beach safety using Minecraft SUS-160713-135115001

RNLI teaching beach safety using Minecraft SUS-160713-135115001

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is inviting children to learn about beach safety by using the massively popular online game Minecraft.

This summer, the charity is running its ‘Beach Builder Challenge’ which allows children to create and build virtual worlds within the vast digital world of the game.

The Beach Builder Challenge, available to play from August 1 has been created by the RNLI to teach children about beach and water safety at a time when many young people will be visiting the coast during school summer holidays.

And this year, the RNLI has expanded the virtual world to include a ‘Beach Island Adventure’, so as well as creating their own epic beaches, creative youngsters must also complete four levels based on the charity’s Stay SAFE acronym: Spot the dangers, Take Advice, Stay close to a Friend or family member, Learn what to do in an Emergency.

In 2014 the Beach Builder Challenge proved hugely success with more than 8,000 children participating from all over the world, including Canada, Australia and the USA.

It also proved successful in helping to reach a large number of children living in inland communities across the UK.

Bridie Appleby-Gunnill, RNLI community safety product manager, said, “This is a fun and interactive game for 7–14 year olds to play during the school holidays. We really hope the challenges will help Minecraft users who visit a real beach this summer put their newly acquired beach safety knowledge into reality, and have fun while staying SAFE.”

Feedback from 2015 suggests the game is an excellent education platform. It shows 97% of participants, after playing it, were aware of the advice to go to a lifeguarded beach.

In addition there was a 20 per cent increase in the number of children who knew they should dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they saw someone in trouble at the beach.

Bridie added, “We’ve created a fun, educational experience where a young person can engage and learn about water safety in a self-organised way and where academic ability does not limit learning. Research suggests that children learn and retain more when they can organise their own learning. Last year’s feedback has shown Minecraft to be a fantastic enabler in allowing this to happen.”

Parents who wish to register their child’s involvement in the Beach Builder Challenge should email gaming@rnli.org.ukbe

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