The most important thing teachers can encourage in young people is to develop ‘inquiring minds’ - to ensure that they know how to gather information, that they check that information and take it from a multiplicity of sources.
— Lord David Puttnam - Digital Champion & MindRising Ambassador

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MindRising 2016


MindRising 2016 is a competition celebrating 200 years of the island of  Ireland. MindRising champions the use of digital technology in schools & groups. MindRising is about telling stories about our past and our future. Teams will work on their digital storytelling skills across a range of media which includes building elements of their projects in Minecraft. They are encouraged to remember the past 100 years and imagine what the next 100 years could bring.

But first watch this

Watch this video  to get a flavour of what's in-store

MindRising is open to 

MindRising Divisions

MindRising has 2 divisions

Junior maps to

  • Primary school 1st-4th class

Senior broadly maps to

  • Primary 5th-6th class
  • Lower-post-primary 1st-2nd year.

See eligibility criteria for details.

Why would we enter?

As an educator, I value the opportunities presented by MindRising 2016 for children and young people to mark the 1916 centenary in ways that promote their historical understanding, help them to connect the past and the present and support them in imagining the future. Whether they are drawing on the evidence to reconstruct past events and localities, investigating change over time or building on the present to imagine possible futures, MindRising offers rich opportunities for child-led and enquiry-based learning and, most importantly, gives voice to that learning though digital storytelling.
— Professor Fionnuala Waldron Cregan Professor of Education, DCU Institute of Education,

If you answer yes to any of the following questions then participating in MindRising is for you.


  1. Are you interested in applying 21st Century Learning Design in your class?
  2. Do you want to engage your students in new ways of deep learning based on digital technologies (including MineCraft)?
  3. Do you want to join a group of schools in exploring our past and our future in 2016?
  4. Do you want to give your students the opportunity to lead, imagine and create?
  5. Do you want to win a €5,000 digital refresh for your school?

Group Leaders

  1. Do you want to get your group involved in a fun project for 2016?
  2. Do your children and young adults in your group love playing with digital technologies like Minecraft?
  3. Do you want to find new ways of connecting and engaging with young people in your groups and communities?
  4. Do you want to win a €5,000 digital refresh for your group or organization?

Generation Blockhead

(otherwise know as children and young adults)

  1. Do you want to have as much fun in school as you do at home?
  2. Do you want to build some cool stuff with your friends?
  3. Do you want to show off your Minecraft skills?

How much time will this take?

Educators/Group Leaders

We've designed MindRising to allow you to get involved based on your capacity. 

"I can only spare a couple of hours"

  • No effort - use MindRising video's to enliven a lesson (videos coming soon) with Minecraft-based learning curriculum content
  • Less than 1 hour - use our curriculum aligned lesson plans to teach a historical topic
  • 2-3 hours - build a minimum viable entry (the smallest competition entry you could possibly imagine),you do everything in a frenetic 3 hours sprint

"I can only spend a day or two on this"

  • Spread the effort over 1-2 weeks working following one of the story paths - discovering, storytelling & learning 

"I want to enter the competition"

  • Option 1: Follow the self-paced design-thinking based program over the 8 weeks of the competition this will get you ready to submit your entry
  • Option 2: Download the design-thinking based program and use it at your own speed (either blitz it or take your time) it's up to you

REMEMBER: MindRising is meant to be a fun learning experience!

What is a MindRising project?

MindRising projects are focussed on celebrating 200 years of the Island Ireland 1916-2016-2116. The competition has 3 story paths: 1) the past 2) the journey from past to future and 3) the future. A project can consist of a variety of elements video, audio, minecraft animation.

Choose a Story Path

Over 8 weeks teams will employ digital storytelling techniques to to tell stories about our past, our future and the journey from past to future. MindRising will be providing mission packs, teaching plans, examples, tutorials and other guides to help you over the 8 weeks.


What do we have to do?

  1. Find a project you want to do (make sure it's fun).
  2. Follow our design thinking tools.
  3. Create a project portfolio built in Sway an interactive digital storytelling tool.
  4. Build a world in Minecraft  (helpful samples will be provided see here).
  5.  Make a 3 minute video that summarises your project  - where you started what challenges you faced, the story your telling, MineCraft fly-thrus, and anything else you can imagine.
  6. Use your imagination to tell the stories your way