Minecraft: Education Edition has received a new resource pack designed to let students learn chemistry within the game itself. Resources also include new lessons and activities, a teacher lab book, a downloadable world and community support.
The Chemistry Resource Pack includes a range of features for teachers and students to explore science within the game, including an Element Constructor, which allows users “to create elements based on their atomic structure with sliders to choose the number of protons, neutrons and electrons. By using the Element Constructor, you can create 118 elements from the Periodic Table as well as over 400 stable isotopes,” according to the developer.
Other tools include:
- Compound Creator, which lets users build 30 different compounds (like soap and hydrogen peroxide);
- Lab Table for making items “by combining elements and compounds in a grid. For example, adding water and sodium hypochlorite makes bleach, which a player can use to turn wool white”; and
- Material Reducer, which lets students explore the components of items within Minecraft.
Lessons and activities range from tips for the classroom, such as watching out for hazards in the lab and using Minecraft, to full-blown instructional resources covering topics like properties of matter, chemical reactions, atomic structure and the scientific method. (As of this writing, there were 10 individual lessons and activities available.)
The Teacher Lab Book is a resource to help educators teach with the Chemistry Resource Pack.
The Chemistry Resource Pack also includes a complete, downloadable world for using the chemistry resources. It can be downloaded at aka.ms/chemistryworld.
According to Minecraft: “Science education is driven by hands-on learning, but only half of fourth graders in the U.S. do hands-on science once a week. In low income schools, the numbers are even lower, as students have less access to labs and equipment. Chemistry in Minecraft allows teachers to introduce chemistry concepts without the costs of lab equipment in the engaging Minecraft world that will inspire more girls and boys to explore the subject.”
The Chemistry Update for Minecraft: Education Edition is available now globally. Complete details can be found on the Minecraft Chemistry portal.