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Year 7s invade Elizabeth House

Wednesday the 21st of May was a fun day for Web Apps, and not just because we had two birthdays. 13 Year 7 children from Failsworth School came to visit our Windsor Works campus, to take a look at a working office and learn a little bit about what it’s like to work in software development. It’s possible we gave them slightly unreal expectations, as Craig and Jack (coincidentally the birthday Webbies), spent most of their time with them playing on the Web Apps Minecraft server!

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If you’re unfamiliar with Minecraft, it’s a sandbox game where the aim is to build and survive. For the sake of simplicity, our activities were staged on ‘Creative Mode’: where you can conjure resources from thin air rather than gathering them. We operated on MinecraftEdu, a modded version of the game that gives the teacher admin controls so we could set objectives for the class.

After showing them a model of our office building — complete with a working ‘Metrolink’ — We set our small class the challenge of splitting into teams to design and assemble their own building. Minecraft is thankfully a very user-friendly game, and they picked it up quickly. We even had a bit of a pro on our hands; one of our pupils delegated tasks to his team and they ended up with a fairly impressive structure, complete with hedgerow, garden and glass windows!

We gave them 45 minutes, after which point their teachers marked them out of 10. There were of course prizes too. We handed out official Web Apps jelly beans and lollipops, after which we showed them around the office, before then staging a Mariokart tournament in the boardroom. Apprentice Kieran and Support Administrator Kat joined in the fun.

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It was great to see our friends from Mahdlo on the day, and hopefully we’ve forged a lasting bond with Failsworth School. We’ve had reports back that some of the visitors said it was the best school trip they’ve ever been on. Sounds like fairly positive feedback to us!