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28 April 2020

Learn about raw materials, circular economy and sustainability with Minecraft - in school and at home!

SGU is leading a new EU-project with the aim to develop educational material for primary schools.

We will need a lot more minerals and metals in the future compared to today, for instance due to growing populations and economies and smarter technologies. The World Bank estimates that we will need over ten times more of metals such as iron, cobalt and nickel if we are to keep the world below a two degrees temperature increase. This is due to the shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources, which also require more raw materials. It is important that we disseminate knowledge on how these raw materials can be extracted and recycled in a sustainable way, especially in schools.

BetterGeoEdu is a new project that is led by SGU in collaboration with universities and research institutes in seven other European countries. The aim is to develop educational material for primary schools about raw materials, circular economy and sustainability with help from SGUs modification of Minecraft, BetterGeo. In Minecraft, one of the primary objectives are to find and extract raw materials to build and craft items, however the way the player finds these raw materials are heavily simplified in the original version of the game. BetterGeo, SGUs modification of the game, changes this and introduces realistic geology to the game, together with new rocks, soil types, minerals and items to find.

Teaching using games, a form of so-called gamification, can increase the learning potential as the experience gets more memorable if the students find the education to be fun or more stimulating. BetterGeoEdu focuses on using several game elements from Minecraft and the modification to disseminate knowledge and create interest for raw materials, circular economy and sustainability. The material for example discusses how minerals and metals are extracted from the ground, how recycling works, which consequences mining has on the environment and how it can be done in the right way to minimize impacts.

As many students are now at home all over the world, the BetterGeoEdu team is working on developing exercises that are suited for distance learning, especially material that does not require tutoring and can be done independently by students at home. The new educational material will be published on an ongoing basis on the website below. The modification BetterGeo can also be played independently to learn more about the subject. All the educational material, including the modification BetterGeo, are free to download.

The project BetterGeoEdu is funded by EIT RawMaterials, a body within the European Union.

Learn more about the project at


Last reviewed 2020-04-28