Student gamer has a plan for Atlanta’s BeltLine, and she’s building it with a popular video game – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — A Maynard Jackson High School 10th grader is an expert at playing the best-selling video game of all time, Minecraft, which was originally released in 2009.

Cayden Cornish says you should never underestimate the power of fun and games.

“I mean, it is fun and games, but I also get some education out of it,” Cornish told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

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In 2016, the Minecraft Education Edition launched, giving students and teachers a new platform to learn, communicate and solve complex problems.

“The students know a ton about Minecraft. Way more than I do,” Jackson High School computer science teacher David Guy said.

Guy’s best and brightest are competing for a chance to work with the city of Atlanta.

Several hundred Atlanta Public Schools students, grades K-12, spent months working on construction projects the city plans to tackle. It’s called the Level Up Challenge.

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“We don’t need to wait until they get out of school to train them. We need to give them the opportunities now,” Digital Learning Specialist Krynica Drake said.

Cornish is among the top three finalists in the high school category.

Her Minecraft mission is to plan the expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine through the Westside.

The city wants the new corridor to help underserved residents, which is why Cornish constructed grocery stores and an urgent care center. The future of the BeltLine may be in her hands.

“I’m glad I took my time to do it. I think that although Minecraft is a fun game for kids, it also can be used for bigger things,” Cornish told Channel 2 Action News.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is expected to announce and meet with the Level Up winners soon.

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