May 7, 2021 Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation’s regional STEM competition goes virtual this weekend. Instead of robotics, this year’s RoboRumble incorporated the Minecraft Education Edition. Students in elementary and middle school were challenged to create a Kentucky Derby Festival event using the Minecraft World. The winners will be announced in a virtual presentation tomorrow, May 8th, beginning at 10 a.m. on a live YouTube stream hosted by Jefferson County Public Schools.

“We’ve learned quickly from JCPS that Minecraft is so much more than just a game. It’s become a tool for learning especially in the remote space and really made it possible for the Derby Festival to still produce our event virtually,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “It’s been amazing to see the creativity of these students and their virtual entries. We hope others will join us online to see them tomorrow.”

Nearly 200 Elementary and Middle School students (both individuals and teams) submitted their Minecraft worlds in the form of a three-minute YouTube video to a panel of judges over the past few weeks. Students from JCPS, as well as other districts including Nelson, Bullitt, Franklin, Fayette, Pike, Shelby, Powell, the Archdiocese of Louisville, and home schools participated in the competition. The Kentucky Derby Festival has partnered with Jefferson County Public Schools for the RoboRumble since 2017.

JCPS is now a global leader of Minecraft for Education Edition. Teachers are using Minecraft to give students interactive, engaging learning experiences that tie subjects like math, science, social studies and language arts to platforms they already understand and enjoy.

For this year’s RoboRumble: Minecraft Edition, students competed in either the Individual or Team Divisions at the Elementary or Middle School levels. The top three submissions in the Team & Individual Divisions (in each level) will win cash rewards for their School’s STEM programs: 1st – $100, 2nd – $75, and 3rd – $50. The overall winners for the best team and best individual entries will each receive an additional $150 for their school’s STEM program. All participants will receive an event-branded drawstring bag and a $10 Amazon gift card.

The 2021 Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation RoboRumble: Minecraft Edition is sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Samtec, along with Contributing Sponsor Messer Construction. The competition is coordinated by Jefferson County Public Schools and is a Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation event.

For more information contact Jim Unger, a district digital innovation leader with Jefferson County Public Schools, at james.unger@jefferson.kyschools.us.

The Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, a 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit charity, receives and manages charitable contributions on behalf of the Kentucky Derby Festival, Inc., its supporters and the general public. The Foundation perpetuates the Festival’s impact on the community by developing projects that highlight the Festival’s influence on the area’s cultural heritage. It works to further the Festival’s educational and charitable mission through exhibitions and performances.