Minecraft is a popular video game that is iconic for its simple block design and endless building possibilities. It was released in 2011 and still remains popular among children and gamers. This game allows players to create and break apart different blocks in its three-dimensional virtual world.
The game features two main modes. The first is a survival mode where players work to keep their virtual selves alive and thriving using limited resources around them. The second is a creative mode where players focus on building creatively using unlimited resources and even have the ability to fly. These unique features allow for many possibilities to teach STEM concepts in your classroom or lesson plans. Here are a few ideas to get you started teaching STEM concepts using the Minecraft video game.
TEACHING PERIMETER, AREA, AND VOLUME
Using Minecraft to teach and practice basic math skills like area and perimeter is a fun way to involve younger students. The block units of the Minecraft world make it easy to have students build shapes. Once they have completed this, encourage students to calculate the area or perimeter of their block shapes. Another fun option is to ask students to create a basic house or building and calculate the volume.
TEACHING TOPOGRAPHIC CONTOUR MAPS
Suppose you’re looking to tie in social science education using technology. In that case, Minecraft’s Creative mode offers an excellent opportunity to learn about topographic contour maps. This is because of the ability to fly and look at an extensive amount of terrain at a time. Minecraft’s virtual world includes several biomes which include forests, snow, and deserts. The game also includes a variety of topographical features like hills, mountains, rivers, and lakes. This is an exciting way for your students to learn about elevation and depth (contour lines) and to analyze the size and shape of topographical features like they would on a real-world map.
TEACHING MANAGEMENT AND PROJECT PLANNING
Minecraft’s survival mode is the perfect opportunity for students to learn how to properly manage their inventory. They must collect and disburse a wide variety of resources and learn how to divvy them out in a controlled manner. This mode also allows students to learn how to collect and mine specific resources using different kinds of tools. Then they must utilize those resources for building houses, roads, and bridges. A crafting table is available for them to use their resources to build additional tools and doors. This gives you a fun way to help your students learn how to put their management skills into practice and learn how to project plan.
BASIC CIRCUITRY USING REDSTONE
Redstone is one of the more advanced technologies in Minecraft that allows students to make automated technologies. Redstone dust can be obtained by mining Redstone ore. This dust conducts power like wires and follows a coding language that allows students to learn basic electrical engineering concepts like creating working circuits using inputs and outputs. This circuitry can be as simple as learning how to make a door open using levers, buttons, or pressure plates, or as complicated as learning how to play music or make a Minecraft computer.
The popularity of Minecraft amongst students of all ages makes this a great game to bring into your STEM classroom. Using this popular game helps students learn how fun a STEM education really is. They will pick up STEM skills that will benefit them now and in the future. Don’t be afraid to let your students have some fun, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy Minecraft makes teaching STEM.
At 21stCentEd, a strong tomorrow is what we’re all about. We’ve been deeply invested in creating interactive STEM tools for kids for many years. We have created a safe space where kids can learn and grow in a supportive and engaging environment. With innovative learning tools and self-paced lessons, students can learn at their own pace and according to their individual interests. And our innovation doesn’t end there. We are always looking for new ways to improve our offerings and make our learning even more engaging. We hope you’ll join us.