Minecraft Makers will be learning how to build, plan and code not just play in Minecraft! Makers will collaborate with their classmates to plan out large building projects while their instructor helps to guide and teach new skills to them each week. These skills will include more intermediate circuit logic using Redstone, coding elements using command blocks and 3D design using geometry and mathematics.
Commands: Minecraft uses an XYZ 3d Cartesian coordinate system in each of its worlds. Students start thinking about relative and absolute positioning while learning some more advanced commands that can in a few keystrokes completely change the shape of their virtual
Redstone: Before getting into fancier circuits students learn how to hide their wiring which makes their creations that much more elegant. This requires a concept known as signal inverting (i.e. a NOT logic gate) and unlocks propagating signals straight up and down. With most of redstone’s fundamental properties out of the way, various inputs and outputs (and the quirks of each) are covered one by one. Components such as analog light sensors, block moving pistons, and item transporting hoppers and droppers, are introduced along with analysis devices such as comparators and some signal theory like monostable circuits necessary to use them to their full potential. Before moving on, a game mechanic known as “block updates” stemming from how Minecraft’s code works is experimented with which allows for almost anything to act as an input. Kids are also introduced to redstone clocks that opens up a whole new type of oscillating signal type.
Kids learn core skills that get applied in projects to integrate their learning and make it fun. Some of the core skills learned and sample projects made include:
- Tilde Tilde Tilde (XYZ coordinates in Minecraft)
- Summon (create a mob out of thin air)
- Torches and Inverting Signals
- Hiding Redstones in Builds
- Noteblocks and Making Sound
- Piston Basics (Moving Blocks)
- Project: Piston Door
- Comparators (Redstone Logic)
- Daylight Sensors
- Project: Alarm Clock
- Project: Lighthouse
- Observer Blocks (updates and ticks)
- Project: Sugarcane Farm
- Repeaters (delaying signals)
- Torch Clock (flashing signals)
- Hoppers (gather items)
- Droppers/Dispensers (move items)
- Slime Blocks (sticky and bouncy)
MakerKids Mindset for Minecraft: Communication
Many people have the misconception that Minecraft involves kids zoning out in front of a computer. That’s not the case at MakerKids. Everyone in the classroom is joining the same cooperative virtual world which means offline in-person interaction is just as important as online. As with all teams, traits such as empathy, understanding, and communication are key to successfully share ideas, resolve conflicts, and achieve goals. Whether kids are working with a group to assign tasks for a custom themed texture pack, helping a friend figure out why their redstone circuitry isn’t working properly, or brainstorming what to do when two people both want to build in the same place, our mentors support kids with techniques and guidance to effectively express how they feel, while Minecraft gives them plenty of opportunities to practice.