Minecraft – whether you love it or hate it, there are two things you cannot deny:
- lots of kids are crazy about it; and
- it offers some great educational opportunities.
With G1 getting into Java with Minecraft and Youth Digital, I thought it was time to learn more about increasing our educational experience with Minecraft. Since children learn best when they’re fully engaged, it made sense to use a medium so near and dear to my son’s heart.
The following infographic by Fractus Learning is a great place to start. It shows 25 ways that Minecraft is being used in classrooms around the world:
I’ve always known that Minecraft was educational, but I had no idea that you could learn stuff like quantum mechanics, molecular chemistry, circuits and logic gates, and Rube Goldberg Machines! Now that’s not for the faint of heart.
Quantum Mechanics with Minecraft Education
Thanks to Caltech and Google, Minecrafters can learn about quantum mechanics through the mod Qcraft.
Qcraft is free to download and can be used by any licensed Minecraft or MinecraftEdu user. They also have a free Qcraft curriculum (MinecraftEdu only) for introducing quantum physics and computing concepts to students in Middle School (Grade 6 to 8) and above. The curriculum currently contains three lessons approximately 60 minutes long.
Rube Goldberg Machines
Rube Goldbergs provide a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of Physics concepts in a physical way. SciMaTech teachers and shop teachers for years have allowed for students to be the master builders and use tools of their trade to become architects and structural engineers. Minecraft is another way for students to tap into that creativity when they don’t have access to a craft space or wood working tools. – Minecraft Education
Minecraft Education offers a free lesson plan on Rube Goldberg Machines that you can download. Although it is intended for students in Year 9 to 12 because of the complexity involved, you can simplify it for a younger student. Here are some ideas for inspiration.
Molecular Chemistry in Minecraft Education
Created by students in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hull (and supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry), MolCraft teaches students about the structures of proteins, chemicals and even chemical history.
In MolCraft, students can explore and read about molecules. Filled with hidden treasure chests that contain goodies, puzzles and quiz books, students will learn quite a fair bit of chemistry along the way.
Logic Gates in Minecraft Education
Students can also learn about circuits and logic gates using Minecraft. Check out the video below from Kestal Kayden:
Resources for teaching circuits and logic gates with Minecraft: