Website Development

The Brief
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. They understand that when children go to the beach or near the coast they engage in a beautiful, fun and sometimes dangerous environment. The RNLI were looking to pilot a way to extend the reach of their beach safety education through a low cost and accessible education technology method for all young learners.

Minecraft was the selected technology as a method of reaching 7-14 year old children by using a game to educate. The task was to link the game Minecraft to a swim safe educational program.

Work
Starting with the objectives, we looked into creating four main challenges that, within Minecraft, would meet four of the main safety messages that the RNLI were educating children with. The challenges are based on the charity’s stay SAFE acronym:

• Spot the dangers
• Take Advice
• Stay close to a Friend or a family member
• Learn what to do in an Emergency

These challenges were built on a large island that contained many other safety messages such as warnings not to go near cliffs or swim on your own. A number of fun things for kids to explore, including the new Shannon class lifeboat, lifeguard towers, flags and public phone, we even included a pirate ship in one challenge.

A PC version of the game was initially created which was followed by a PE (Pocket Edition) version for tablets and the games were trialled on a series of focus groups involving kids of the target audience.

The games aim to reach as wide a UK target audience as possible regardless of gender, location (inland vs coastal) or relationship to the RNLI and to accomplish this we will be assisting with the marketing of the game on relevant websites, social media and forums.

Result
The RNLI Beach Island Adventure games have just been launched, hosted on specific Minecraft servers and the results will be analysed at the end of the year-long trial in how to improve children and young people’s beach safety knowledge and change their behaviour.

Minecraft can be a low cost and effective safety education programme which harnesses both knowledge based and experiential learning which is inclusive of different learning abilities and disabilities.

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