MinecraftEdu World Library

Water Challenge Remix

Ages 7-16
Published by MikeHarvey  •  Posted 1677 days ago
This is a heavy update I made to the Water Challenge map that features 4 identical team areas, scoreboard use, NPCs for acquiring bone meal by trade, and a full farming tutorial activity for new players.
Science > Engineering - Water Conservation
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
World Details and Requirements
Created by: TeacherGaming (original), Mike Harvey
World version: 2.1
Supported MinecraftEdu Versions: 1.6.4
World Type: Mission Based
Tags: Farming, Team Work, Systems Thinking, Resource Management

Required MinecraftEdu Hosted Mods

You can obtain these mods using the MinecraftEdu Launcher
  • customnpcs


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You may also manually download the world from here



Map Updates

  • The main enclosed playing area has been cloned 4 times, allowing for students to work on the task in 2-4 groups. Great for large classes!
  • New (optional) scoreboard system keeps track of total number of deaths on each team, allowing for a competitive Survival twist for this activity. Alternatively, a winner can also be determined by the team with the most bread.
  • The playing areas now have Home Blocks and have been color-coded to match team colors.
  • A brand new Farming Tutorial has been added.
  • Ths spawn point for the map has been moved to the lighthouse. The spawn area houses the scoreboard system as well as teleporters to the various playing areas as well as the Farming Tutorial.

Farming Tutorial

29 identical numbered areas are currently available for students to learn all of the basics in a logical backwards sequence. Students will interact with a "Farmhand" NPC. When they provide her with bread, she will give them the key to the next challenge. The progression of activities in the tutorial is as follows:

  1. Open a chest containing bread and give it to the NPC.
  2. Open a chest containing 3 wheat. Use the crafting table to create bread and give it to the NPC.
  3. This chest contains bone meal. Use the bone meal on existing crops to grow them into harvestable wheat.
  4. This chest contains seeds and bone meal. Plant the seeds by right-clicking on farmland.
  5. This chest also contains a hoe. Before seeds can be planted, use the hoe to create farmland from dirt.
  6. This chest contains wooden planks and sticks instead of a hoe. Use the crafting table to make your own tool, then complete the entire process.

Players will be able to join a team as soon as they finish the tutorial. If you are interested in keeping the teams fair and balanced, hold down the Tab key to see which players are currently on which teams. I advise my students to join the team with the fewest members.

Spawn Point Changes

  • Upon spawning, players will be able to choose to complete the tutorial (beginner) or skip it (experienced) by pressing a button.
  • Teachers can force all students to complete the tutorial by flipping a switch behind the light house.
  • The scoreboard system is below the lighthouse underground. You may modify it to your needs. 
  • On the outside wall of the lighthouse there are two hidden command blocks that will trigger a hunger effect on all players. This can be used to reinforce the need to stay on task and is most useful with experienced classes or short periods.

Original Lesson Description and Scenario by TeacherGaming:

You are a member of a group of settlers, scientists, and farmers set out to inhabit a new land. You’ve traveled for weeks living off of rations that your party set aside for the trip, but this morning the last of the reserve supply ran out. As hunger begins to settle in you push forward through the barren land. Suddenly someone in your party begins to call out. As you round the hill you see them: grass, tress, flowers! Lush and green, the vegetation here is healthy and thriving. You haven’t seen rain for many weeks, but these plants clearly have a source of water. If only you there was a way to make it last…
Participants enter the water challenge with only a place to rest and a fountain of water that pours into a small ditch. While they may collect water in buckets and transfer it manually, participants are faced with few food sources and will need to collaborate to establish a network of water flow. They are challenged to plan and develop a functioning settlement around a single water supply. Through collaborative building participants practice problem-solving and system thinking and apply understanding of real world phenomenon such as water flow to a simulated environment.

Example Activities:

Exploring a System

Participants may have certain expectations about how water may work in Minecraft based on their experiences with water in real life. Have participants hypothesize how specific structures in the game world will affect the flow of water and experiment with those structures to observe the results.
Some questions for guiding participants include:

  • What do we know about water that can inform hypotheses for how water functions in Minecraft?
  • What happens to water if you cut off the source?
  • How does water disperse when it drops onto a surface?

  • After testing, how does the water in Minecraft compare to real life water? How is it similar or different?
  • What does playing with water in Minecraft teach us about real water?
  • What else might behave similar to water? How might it be different? Can we test any in Minecraft?

Settlement Building

When participants are comfortable with how water functions in Minecraft they can be challenges to develop a system of irrigation that networks. This activity is perfect for pre-planning and group work but can also be used as an opportunity to do quick, free form exploration. Participants should think about how to structure the settlement as a whole. Planned building could involve participants designing paper models of the settlement before constructing it in Minecraft. Roleplaying can occur within game or in separate sessions regarding planning, work allocation, and priority allotment, challenging players to
Consider the following prompts:

  • How might a settlement build their city around this water source? What precautions must you take in order to utilize it?
  • Have participants calculate the distance between the camp and the well and construct a to-scale plan of their settlement.
  • In addition to paths for the water to irrigate, what other features should the settlement have? How will they locate housing, crops, and social spaces?
  • What features of the landscape are helpful for building? What are obstacles?
  • Participants can also calculate how long the characters in the world would take to build the planned settlement, accounting for time to eat, sleep, and relax. How should they budget their time for leisure activities with work?
  • Participants can allocate priority to essential tasks. What tasks need to be addressed immediately and what can wait?
  • Restrict available tools to challenge participants even further. How will they structure their settlement when they, for example, cannot make stone axes?
  • How do we construct a settlement that uses our water efficiently? What building practices waste water and how can we avoid them?

Self-sustaining Farm

Participants familiar with Minecraft or looking for an even greater challenge might be tasked with creating a self-sustaining irrigation system that supplies crops and housing with water with little or no maintenance. Participants may wish to utilize redstone in these projects.



Michael, First off, LOVE the changes you made to the Water Challenge! Thanks! I was trying to set up the "losses" and "deaths" for students to keep track of individual and team losses. I found the area in the basement to change these settings, but didn't know what to do with the instructions "Set display objective in slot "sidebar" to "death." How do I do that? Please advise. Thanks, Joel S.

Fantastic world! Kids love the challenge, and I have set up reward system after a few weeks of working together in teams. Struggling with the death/losses system, though. Not all deaths are being counted. For instance, blue team deaths are counted, but not the others. This was part of our reward system, so I was hoping to make any necessary changes.

Hi. The kids are really enjoying your world. I can't find where the team totals are for # of deaths. Can you tell me how to find it and also if it is possible to display a running team score to all users? Thanks!

Just finished Water Challenge Remix with two groups of summer school students. Loved it, thanks! One question in regard to the tutorial. We did not have any "farmers" to give us pressure plates. Students climbed over the door instead. Did we miss a setting for this? Thanks again.

It sounds like you did not install/enable the CustomNPCs mod on all computers.