As the newly-elected mayor of a brand-new Minecraft City, students have their work cut out for them! In this problem-solving and social studies class based loosely on "Sim City," students not only build their city but govern it. During each class, as they work to construct the perfect metropolis, our student mayors receive individually-crafted "telegrams" from fictitious citizens who move into their town as well as a fictitious "cabinet" of advisers.
While each mayor's "Construction Adviser" alerts them to engineering and design issues in their city, an "Environmental Adviser" also presents tough decisions as the mayor tries to keep his or her city "green." The city's Ambassador helps the mayor work on trades and border questions with other student mayors nearby, while the city's "Political Adviser" sends the mayor telegrams to help establish the laws of the city. The mayor must also keep up to date on weather events, security concerns and, potentially, citizen protests as he or she attempts to keep up his or her periodically updated poll numbers in an attempt to win re-election as mayor. The class concludes with each student's re-election campaign in their own city.
Along with this societal simulation, each week's class will consist of a civics-related theme as students are presented with history and civics lessons that relate directly to their own decision-making for their individual towns. These include the Bill of Rights, Eminent Domain Domain, the History of U.S. Immigration, the Environmental Movement, City Budgets and a collection of difficult decisions facing real-life mayors. Student mayors also meet in "state summits" periodically as they negotiate with other mayors in the class on inter-city issues such as shared police and fire services, security, borders and trade.
Please note, students are encouraged to partner up with another student (either that they sign up with or a student of a similar age that we pair them with) to serve as co-mayors. This makes decision-making more of a collaborative effort and makes it easier to construct the city. However, if a student really prefers to work alone, that is also allowed.
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