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📡 Calling all aspiring galactic scientists!
Planet Minecraft is excited to host the first ever Imagine an Exoplanet design competition! This series is a collaboration with project WHIMC, What-if Hypothetical Implementations in Minecraft, a National Science Foundation AISL-funded research project and interdisciplinary collaboration between several science education organizations dedicated to cutting-edge and impactful informal learning.
The goal of WHIMC is to develop computer simulations that engage, excite, and generate interest and engagement in STEM. WHIMC leverages Minecraft Java Edition as a learning environment for learners to interactively explore the scientific consequences of “what if?” questions, such as “What if the earth had no moon?” or “What would it be like to visit Exoplanet HD 189773b – where it rains glass???”
An 🪐Exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun
🔭 Listen up explorers!
Before you begin designing your world for submission, we highly recommend that you learn more about how we discover, study and understand exoplanets. One of the best ways to do this is by playing the Nova Exoplanet Lab – a free, online interactive experience from the producers of the popular PBS science series.
Once you’ve got a sense of how exoplanets work, head on over to NASA’s Exoplanet Discovery Dashboard to look around for some interesting candidates. Parents and kids might also find it fun to do some brainstorm drawings with the WHIMC Exoplanet worksheet.
🚀 Example WHIMC Minecraft Worlds
🗳️ Submission Requirements
We are offering two tracks for submission, details are as follows:
👤 Intended for kids and participants new to Minecraft
💫 Emphasis on imagination
🏗️ Build block-by-block in creative mode
❌ No external programs, plugins or mods
❌ No datapacks or resource packs
✅ Bedrock, Education Edition and Java Edition worlds welcome (.mcworld or .zip download)
📏 256 block cube submission size limit
🧑🏫 We highly encourage that participants in this track check out our resources and tutorials, especially if they want to design on a mobile device
👤 Intended for frequent and experienced Planet Minecraft participants, including professional world designers
🔬+💫 Emphasis on scientifically accurate representation as well as imagination
🏗️+🌐 Block and World Editors encouraged (Worldpainter, WorldEdit, 3D model or schematic imports)
✅ Datapacks and resource packs welcome
❌ No Forge mod blocks (must be vanilla 1.18 or earlier compatible)
☕ Java Edition worlds recommended (.zip download)
📏 200 mb total world size limit (no block limit)
BOTH Beginner and Advanced
‣ You may only enter once!
‣ The standard rules of Planet Minecraft apply to all submissions.
‣ You are allowed to enter work that also fits an unofficial community event that is simultaneously running as long as your entry follows our event rules.
‣ Collaborations and teamwork are allowed for this event, but only the author will be contacted in the event the entry is selected for a prize.
‣ Submissions that do not follow our requirements may be disqualified at anytime.
World submissions will be reviewed by our outstanding team of ACTUAL REAL LIFE ASTRONOMERS AND EXOPLANET SCIENTISTS!!!
They will be pre-sorted by the WHIMC team and judged on account of:
🖼️ Creativity and imagination. The world’s ability to provoke wonder and awe, as well as inspire visitors to ask questions and explore. Clever and unexpected uses of blocks, terrain shaping or scenery props please!
🌌 Scientific Accuracy. Does your creation reflect what this world would really be like? Think in terms of scientific concepts like atmospheric and ground composition, geological formations, presence of life, nearby visible stellar or planetary bodies, gravity or vision effects, features of any explorer habitats and more.
📣 Explanation of process. This can be as simple as a written description as part of the submission or as complex as a walk-through or timelapse YouTube video. This is your space to make a case about how you learned something along the way! Screenshots are highly encouraged.
😎 Author. We’d like to get to know you a bit! Tell us how long you’ve been playing Minecraft and what interests you in science or astronomy. Include this as part of your submission description.
🌟 Original. All submissions must be new work and the intellectual property of the contest participant – any remixed resources or inspiring concept art should employed with permission and attribution.
🎁Winners & Recognition
All participants will receive a special pixel art award for their trophy case, but…
Up to THREE favorite creators in each category will be selected to:
✨ Be featured as a new exoplanet world on the server, seen by kids all around the world!
🖼️ Get a super cool detailed exoplanet poster from Halycon Maps!
A signed copy of Neil Comin’s book “What if the Earth had two Moons?”
🔑 How to Enter!
- Learn about exoplanets (see above), pick one
- Create your awesome world
- Upload a new submission here on Planet Minecraft and fill out the description and photos
- Submit it into the event by checking the Event box on the submission upload form
🕵️ Questions, Resources and Tutorials
Have a question? Need help? Sound off on the event forum.
- Tips for Landscaping (first 2 minutes)
- Terraforming breakdown
- How to build better buildings
- Parents, teachers or librarians can help kids:
- WorldEdit Tutorials
- World generation with datapacks
- Export 3D models to .schematic with Binvox or Online Voxelizer or TinkerCAD (1st 4 min)
- Import .schematic files with WorldEdit or Amulet
- Custom heads (for objects like computers or plants)
- Debug stick
- Invisible item frames
- Clever use of armor stands
Aesthetics and structures