Several students from Airdrie and the surrounding areas are among the winners in Level Up Calgary, a competition that challenges students across several school boards in the region to utilize Minecraft to design areas of downtown Calgary using their imagination and skills.

In its third season, dubbed, Level Up Calgary Season 3: Parks & Portals, students from The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and Rocky View Schools (RVS) of all grade levels embarked on a 10-week journey to shape two downtown areas in Minecraft: Haultain Park, located in the Beltline neighbourhood, and the future underground 4th Street Station on the upcoming Green Line.

Among the Division I winners, there was Alexis Paul from Airdrie's Northcott Prairie School for their rendition of Haultain Park. Division II winners included Emma Turner and Ila Reinbold from École Edwards Elementary School. Division III winners were also from Northcott Prairie School - Cole Saelhof, Temi Baiyewu, and Micah Rozema, while division IV winners were from Cochrane's Bow Valley High School, Hailey Baker and Lexy Williams. 

RVS Superintendent of Schools, Greg Luterbach, expressed his pride in the RVS students' accomplishments in the competition.

"This design challenge meets students in a digital space many of them already use, and enables them to use their creativity skills to learn while having fun."

Finalist entries will be showcased at the Calgary Central Library throughout July, and the winning builds will be available for viewing online. This year’s panel of judges included experts from City Parks & Open Spaces, Urban Planning, Green Line and community representatives, who brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the evaluation process.

"This competition provides a unique way for all grade students to grow their digital skills while preparing them to be future changemakers in a fun and creative way and inspiring the imaginations of young designers, planners and city-builders across our city," The City of Calgary stated.

In a news release on Tuesday, The City of Calgary said that, after months of hard work, once again celebrated students’ creativity, community engagement and design skills using Minecraft Education.

"From thousands of entries, 34 students were honoured during the inaugural in-person award ceremony. The event highlighted winning Minecraft designs, for their exceptional ability to create vibrant, sustainable public spaces that celebrate diversity, promote equity and foster unity among Calgarians."

Mayor Jyoti Gondek expressed her pride and heartfelt congratulations to the winning students and schools as well, offering a heartfelt congratulations to the winners and participants.

"I continue to be amazed by the creativity and passion in shaping the future of our city. Their designs truly embody the spirit of a connected, diverse and resilient Calgary. I’d also like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the judges for their dedication, time and feedback.”

According to The City of Calgary, Level Up Calgary, Canada’s pioneering game-based learning platform, was initially launched in 2022.

"Over the course of three seasons, the program has positively impacted the learning of over 35,000 CBE students, facilitating conversations on civic responsibility and creating safe, welcoming spaces for all Calgarians. As North America’s first program of its kind, it has inspired similar initiatives in cities like Los Angeles, London, New York, Winnipeg, Buenos Aires and Toronto."

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