It has been almost a month since our last update, mainly because of the two-weeks Easter Holidays break as well as some other school events that took place during our gathering. Nevertheless, the students were back refreshed, rested and ready to continue with their massive task of completing Portugal inside Minecraft PE.
This week marked the beginning of the third period of lessons based on the annual school cycle, for this reason we had some students leaving the group to participate in other My Time activities, as well as new students eager to join our group and begin collaborating with their peers on this epic mission. The new students were given login names and were explained the fundamentals of our project, the basic rules and principles we defined in the beginning of the project and joined groups of experienced students in order to guide them and help them become oriented inside the world. Needless to say, these new students were discussing and building projects in no time since all of them already had experience with Minecraft PE.
One of the first tasks the new students had to participate in, with the help of some of the experienced ones that had no projects pending, was to help with the replacement of the Alentejo biome, from grass to sandstone. In a matter of minutes the group was already working on very large area of the map, adding to the work done in previous weeks.
Closer to the southern beaches of Faro, some of the newer students had the idea of building a parking lot next to the entrance to the beach and place cars and camping cars in it, as if visitors and tourists had just arrived.
In addition, the A2 highway connecting Alentejo with Faro was completed, one of the many highways that students were constructing at the time.
To the west of Faro a new warp point was added, marking the location of Sagres, the extreme southwest point of continental Europe. There, one student decided to initiate construction on the Lighthouse of Ponta de Sagres, an iconic building of the region.
Near the center of the country, work on the Pena National Palace was completed, as well as the IC19 highway connecting Sintra with the North.
Another very important milestone was the completion of the 25 of April Bridge in Lisbon, including its highway, lower train tracks and top suspension wires.
With the conclusion of the above grandiose projects, two new ones were launched in the same region. The first was the Batalha Monastery, one of the most important gothic sites in Portugal. The second one, considered to be the most difficult and ambitious of all projects, was the Serra de Estrela mountain range found in the east of the country. As mentioned in previous posts, mountains are some of the most difficult constructions to undertake in Minecraft because of their size and shape. In order to make the mountains look as natural as possible, this particular group decided to construct massive rectangular shapes out of earth blocks so that later on they could start removing layers of them in a diagonal direction.
The arrival of new students to our project brought a new wave of enthusiasm, ideas and motivation to the whole group, as it is clear from the creations above.