INTERFACE Minecraft Student Competition 2023

The competition has now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. We will reveal the results in our November magazine.

It’s on! Get your blocks ready for the INTERFACE Minecraft Student Competition 2023, ‘Build a Big Blue Future’. We’ve teamed up with the Marine Stewardship Council and your challenge is to create a new exhibit for the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

You choose the type of environment for the exhibit, which will help visitors to the National Aquarium to better understand marine life in and around our oceans. It could be an enclosure for penguins, a refuge for an endangered species or a sea creature from the deep, a hands-on encounter for aquarium visitors, a display area for viewing … or whatever you choose. But you will need to make sure the animal’s needs can be met through your design!

As you plan your exhibit, your design needs to meet these requirements:

  • Have natural surroundings relevant to the species,
  • Have access for visitors to view the animals,
  • Be a self-contained, sustainable environment that can house an appropriate number of animals with what they need
  • Be a safe and nurturing environment for the animals inside and encourage natural behaviours
  • Be designed for National Aquarium staff to easily maintain, as well as feed and look after animals.

Big Blue Future New Zealand

Big Blue Future New Zealand is an initiative to build support for sustainable fishing and promote ocean literacy. Learn about ocean literacy with MSC’s Te Kawa O Tangaroa teaching resources – an ocean-centred learning programme focused on solutions to overfishing and how we can keep our ocean teeming with life.

The Five Domains

For some help, advice and inspiration, check out the Five Domains Model, a science-based structure for assessing animal welfare. It provides a best-practice framework to assess welfare in animals of all species and is used by all ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums to assess animal welfare.

Looking for some ideas, inspriration and a place to start?

Check out current exhibits at the National Aquarium of New Zealand at

Win some great prizes!

There are some awesome prizes for winning entries.

In addition to bragging rights as the best Minecrafters in the land, each winning entry will receive:

Second and third placed entries will also receive a pack of NANZ ocean-themed merchandise.

Entry details

There are three age categories to choose from: Primary (Years 1-6); Intermediate (Years 7-8); and Secondary (Years 9+).

Entries close end of Term 3 (Friday 22 September).  The winners will be announced in our November magazine on 8 November.

How to enter

STEP 1: Talk through the requirements with your student(s). Discuss the different types of aquarium exhibit, the design requirements and how it can be constructed in Minecraft. 

STEP 2: Create the entry in Minecraft and complete the entry form below. You will need to write a short explanation of your exhibit and how it meets the requirements, and record a video of their creation (please keep videos to no longer than 3 minutes).

Entries will judged out of 100 points, based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity of the design (40 points)
  • Effectiveness of the design (30pts)
  • Appropriate use of materials (15 points)
  • Accuracy and neatness of construction (15 points)

All entries require both teacher and student details – incomplete entries will not be accepted. Please submit one form per entry. Entries can be from individuals or groups (up to four people) and must include all students’ names. You can enter more than once but you must make a separate entry for each.

The competition has now closed.

If you have any problems with making the video, completing the entry form or questions about entering, please contact Greg Adams, INTERFACE Editor, at

Meet the best Minecrafters from 2022 – See what last year’s winners created at

PLEASE NOTE: This competition is open only to students at New Zealand schools and is subject to our terms and conditions (

DISCLAIMER: We treat all personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.

© INTERFACE, last updated August 2023