What if Minecraft was more than just a game? If it was also an educational tool that allowed you to reproduce remarkable works of Portuguese architecture? And if it was present in classrooms?
As part of Faro's application to European Capital of Culture 2027, MI.MOMO.FARO was born, a heritage education project that aims to reproduce emblematic buildings of the city's modernist architecture on the Minecraft platform:Education Edition, by students of 3rd cycle schools in the municipality of Faro.
Developed with the support of Microsoft Portugal and the National Arts Plan, MI.MOMO.FARO is an interdisciplinary initiative involving more than 150 students aged 13 to 15, 7 schools in the municipality of Faro, more than 20 teachers, among teachers and prominent figures linked to architecture and heritage. The teachers involved in MI.MOMO.FARO had access to specific training that will allow them to explore pedagogical approaches in the classroom environment, and also have the scientific support of technicians in architecture, urbanism and heritage of the Municipality of Faro. As an example, the online open classes on the Modernist Movement and its specificities in Faro and the Algarve that took place this month.
Bruno Inácio, Head of the Culture Division of Faro Municipality and Coordinator of faro's candidacy to European Capital of Culture 2027 describes the project as follows: "This is a project that aims on the one hand to enhance heritage education through the use of new technologies, empowering students, teachers and schools through contact with new learning dynamics (game based learning) and on the other hand to contribute to the enhancement of the cultural heritage of the county, in this case modernist architecture, motivating all those interested in this project to discover the modernist movement in cities of southern Europe" .
Given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and the absence of face-to-face classes, an Online Forum was included in the project where teachers and students involved in MI.MOMO.FARO can discuss the city's heritage in the light of new pedagogical approaches. As Sara Brighenti, Sub-commissioner of the National Plan for the Arts, says: "MI.MOMO.FARO starts from the city and the modernist architecture as educational content. It is a proposal that provokes the critical and aesthetic look of the student on the urban heritage and develops learning that gives ample meaning to the notion of building/ house/ place. The project recruits the sensitive gaze (which goes beyond the visible) and, through pedagogical and playful dynamics, shows students the value of the heritage asset, then transforms it into raw material for creativity and innovation."
The Education Edition of Minecraft allows teachers, in an interdisciplinary way, to lead students to explore the game and computing for the benefit of acquiring knowledge such as heritage, culture, regional identity and history of their community, becoming agents of construction and transposition in an interactive virtual environment.
Sandra Martinho, Director of Education and Philanthropy at Microsoft Portugal, said:"At a time of great transformation of teaching and learning, projects of this nature show the importance of using solutions that combine play with teaching, enhancing active learning and putting into practice hybrid teaching. Actions like this one demonstrate the importance of bringing tools like Minecraft to stimulate new ways of learning and teaching."
The MI.MOMO.FARO project also aims to promote public discussion on major themes of Faro's Candidature to become the European Capital of Culture 2027: the city in the digital era, the enhancement of cultural heritage as a legacy for future generations and institutional cooperation in urban regeneration. In this sense, several communication actions open to the public are planned, namely three live round tables on the Facebook page @Faro2027. The first one - "Faro, a Modernist city in Southern Europe" - will take place on March 25th at 6:30pm, with the participation of the renowned architect Ricardo Agarez.
MI.MO.MOMO.FARO is a project with an international dimension, since it intersects with other European projects on modernist heritage. In Lithuania, Kaunas, the city that will be European Capital of Culture in 2022, has also integrated this theme in its artistic program.
For more information: Isadora Justo | Faro 2027 Candidature for European Capital of Culture 📞+351 91 883 65 03 | 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org
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