2023 COMPETITION OVERVIEW: Bygone Blocks (Rebuilding History)

For this competition, students create a Minecraft build and showcase it through a screencast 3-minute video to be published on YouTube. All builds will focus on the theme: What Schools Can Be

This definition of the history disciplinary strand is from our Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies: “History is the study of past events, commonly with a focus on their causes and intended/unintended effects. Students need to understand their historical roots and those of others and how past events have shaped their world. In developing these insights, students must know what life was like in the past and how things change and develop over time. Reconstructing and interpreting historical events provides a needed perspective in addressing the past, the present and the future.” (Kentucky Department of Education, 2019)

Your challenge is to reconstruct a moment in human history, from our Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies, using Minecraft as your medium. Regardless of the time or event in history that you choose, be sure to tell a vivid story using the tools available to you in Minecraft and voice-over/screencasting skills. 

Joana Simas perfectly captures the power of Minecraft in teaching and learning history through Minecraft. “Having Minecraft as a blank canvas allows students to become true artists, trustworthy creators of authentic historical knowledge. Minecraft definitely changed the way the History curriculum content is being delivered, reaching the students in the most natural, active, inclusive and intuitive way possible.” (Simas, 2021)

A team can be one or more students. This project can be configured to any scale that the participants deem manageable. Please refer to the scoring rubric at the bottom of this document for specific scoring categories. As a team challenge, the category does not ask for individual student names. Instead, be prepared to enter a team name on the registration form.

The video should capture the student(s) providing a step-by-step walkthrough of important features of the Minecraft build that is recorded live from the device screen using the software of the student’s choosing.  Narration can occur as a voice-over in sync with the video or utilize well-timed on-screen titles to describe features or, ideally, a combination of both.  Additionally, teams will submit a process document detailing their research, design, and build process.


All content in the build should be original work created by the student(s). Students may use Minecraft Education Edition, PC/Mac version of Minecraft, console version, or the iOS/iPadOS version, as long as a screen recording can be captured and shared via YouTube. Use only the default texture pack. Mods are not allowed.

All teams are instructed to visit the STLP Super Sheet to access the complete 2022-23 Minecraft: Bygone Blocks rubric. Additional important details can be found there. DPOJ registration will open in December with a deadline of January  18, 2023.