Last January we concluded our 25-session after school Minecraft at the Museum program. Over the course of the program, the teens worked in small group to design a range of science-based learning experiences. For their final project, we challenged them to pick one topic and then work together to teach it in Minecraft.
They chose “natural selection.” So how can you teach that using Minecraft?
In Minecraft, there is something called “buffs.” Buffs are features that can be given to a character to changes its abilities. For example, some let you see in the dark, jump further than others, breath under water, etc. Using the random distribution of buffs, players race across various biomes to see how adapted they are to their environment and if they are “fit” enough to survive. Originally, they wanted buffs to occur as players entered each new biome – to represent a species evolving and becoming more or less “fit” for their new environment – but they couldn’t work out the mechanics in time. So, instead, the player receives all their buffs at the beginning – not ideal, but effective enough as a prototype.
Here’s a video of Daniel and Reuben giving us a tour and sharing what they learned along the way: