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Important Dates for Net Zero Challenge: Austin

April 11 - Net Zero Challenge: Austin launches
May 13 - Last day to submit student video presentations
May 24 - Finalist announcements sent to team sponsors

This Net Zero Challenge is not required Austin ISD curriculum and is intended to take place outside of regular classroom periods. Students can work with a teacher or Austin ISD staff sponsor to find time after school or during open periods to collaborate on this project. 

👉🏾 Build Solutions for Austin, Texas!

To make this building challenge even more special, the Minecraft Education team created a special Minecraft world!  Teams will download the Net Zero: Austin Minecraft World file below and import it into Minecraft: Education Edition.  The spawn point starts you at the Texas Capitol. NPCs in the game will share information that you will need before teleporting players to the challenge build plate. Teams have freedom to create anything on and around the build plate. 

Download and import this mini-Austin world to get in-game directions. Use the Plan and Build sections below to help develop your fantastic solutions.

click here to download austin in minecraft
(updated link is now iPad-friendly!)


👉🏾 Plan

The goal for each student team is to build a world in Minecraft: Education Edition and submit a video presentation that shows how that world demonstrates answers the Net Zero Challenge: Austin build prompt.

challenge prompt

In Minecraft: Education Edition, how might you design a modern transportation system for the city of Austin that meets the city’s Net Zero goals by the year 2040?


An effective challenge build will show student understanding of what Net Zero means and demonstrate creative solutions for how city leaders might improve transportation while reducing the city’s carbon footprint.  The Austin ISD Student Guide can provide direction for getting started and questions that may help the team better understand the science involved with the challenge prompt. 

open the student guide

(or click here to make a copy for your Google Drive.)

Suggested Team Planning Outline


👉🏾 Build 

Student teams will work collaboratively to build models in Minecraft: Education Edition that demonstrate the solutions developed during team planning and research.  Use any of the building tools and inventory materials in Creative Mode to demonstrate what your concepts would look like and how they may operate.  Teams can use NPC and posters in the game to share information and can use Redstone and other advanced features in Minecraft: Education Edition help demonstrate your transportation solutions. 


Still Learning Minecraft?

Basic intro: 

Basic Controls: 

In Game tutorials for Minecraft: Education Edition: 

Use slates and posters in your world: 

Using NPCs (non-player characters) : 

Import and export worlds: (Remember: One team member will create the team world and can host it for other members. The creator can export the world as a file and a different member can import that world file to work or host. When transferring worlds to members, consider numbering the export (world1, world2, etc) to keep track of the most recent version.

Host and join worlds: 

YouTube Playlist of tutorials: 


Movement with keyboard commands:

W - Move forward

A - Move left

D - Move right

S - Move backwards

F5 - Third Person view

Spacebar - Tap once for jump, double tap and hold for flight

E - Inventory (gathering items for building)

C - Engages Code Builder 

SHIFT - Sneak


Movement with the mouse:

Consider the mouse as your head. If you need to look left, move your mouse to the left. Follow the same steps when looking right, looking down and looking up. 

Place and break with the mouse (controls on the bottom left of the screen):

The picture on the bottom left of the screen is the mouse. It shows you that if you right-click, you'll place a block and if you left click, you'll break a block. 

Crosshair (+ in the center of the screen): The crosshair that is moved with the mouse is where a block will be destroyed or placed. If you don't see the word Place on your mouse picture, you'll know that your crosshair isn't pointed to a place where you can build.

Hotbar (9 boxes at the bottom of the screen): The hotbar is for inventory. It can be accessed  by using the number keys (1-9) on your keyboard, or by using the rolling wheel on the mouse to scroll across the hotbar.