Release Date: 3/1/2017

Pre-Teens Rock SME Move Mining Competition

Game-based learning concept astounds judges

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is pleased to announce Team Atwood as the winner of the Move Mining competition. Forty teams from 24 states and seven countries submitted concept papers on how they would change the sometimes negative public perception of the mining industry. Eleven-year-old Corban Atwood and his brother, 8-year-old Jayce, pitched their winning concept before a panel of industry leaders and communication experts at the SME Annual Conference & Expo on Feb. 21, 2017 in the Colorado Convention Center. Their idea was supported by their father, Garrett Atwood, a 13-year mining professional.

Team Atwood’s concept involves leveraging the wildly popular video game, Minecraft, to increase young students’ understanding of the necessity and benefits of mining. Their refined version of the game would include exploration, milling and refining, energy sourcing, realistic geology and environmental stewardship components.

The game-based learning tool incorporates STEM skills and could be played by teams of students in simultaneous competition for goals including the value of ore mined, level of refined material, number and extent of structures and machines built, reclamation activity and environmental impact, and the health and safety of the game pieces.

By taking the video game to a young audience, the realities and benefits of mining are taught in a fun and engaging way that reinforces positive aspects of the mining and minerals industries. Students will gain insight into industry practices including:

  • The value of exploration
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Smelting and refining
  • Pros and cons of energy sources
  • Importance of planning, specialization and investment
  • Increased understanding and appreciation of the industry

View a recording of the competition and finale

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact Jackie Dorr, Communications Manager, at (303) 948-4244 or

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