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National Highways (formerly Highways England), has partnered with Minecraft, the popular sandbox video game, to inspire school children across the country.

From September, students will be able to go into the game and explore three proposed national road schemes: the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements and the A303 past Stonehenge.

The government-owned company hopes that the educational package will help the next generation understand the skills needed for such projects, as well as the potential career paths. 

It’s expected that the game will inspire more students to aim for a career in one of the many jobs within transport infrastructure. These include archaeology, biology, ecology, civil engineering, communications technology and coding.

There are five games, as well as a creative mode that teachers can use in their lessons with key stage 2 and key stage 3 classes. They can practise virtual activities such as tunnelling, excavation, responding to environmental factors and learning about biodiversity near Stonehenge.

Natalie Jones, National Highways talent delivery lead, said: “We want to inspire the next generation of talented engineers and scientists, on whom the country’s infrastructure and national economy will one day depend.

“With the help of Minecraft and the in-game activities, students will get first-hand experience of what would go into building a huge bridge or digging a giant tunnel. In real life, these are multi-million-pound structures that are carefully designed and then built by experts.”

Schools simply need access to Microsoft Education Centre to access the package.

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