My kids get enough of Minecraft at home! Why in the world would you choose to teach them coding using Minecraft? Are they just going to play Minecraft for a few hours, build a few blocks and call it coding? Great questions.
Minecraft is quite simply the largest sandbox you can imagine. Kids can, and do, play for hours and hours building worlds, fighting mobs, and just having fun. The thing is that Minecraft presents a unique opportunity to teach some of the most fundamental coding concepts. It also gives kids a great introduction into game design and development using a platform that they are already familiar with.
If we look at Minecraft through the lense of our "EFP's" it becomes very clear why Minecraft is a perfect option to introduce kids to game development. Learn more about our EFP's here.
Exposure - Our curriculum requires that the kids use Eclipse (a professional development environment) and the Java programming language. Right out of the gate, they are writing real code using a real programming language. I use both of these tools daily in my job as a software engineer. As an added bonus, or fun-fact really, Minecraft was written in Java so the kids get to code using the same tools.
Fundamentals - Every single Minecraft lesson covers multiple fundamental programming concepts. Looping, Controls, Decisions, Conditionals, and Classes may not mean anything to you, but they are basic fundamentals that are used regardless of what course you take in the future. We present fun and challenging problems for kids to solve within the world of Minecraft - and the only way to solve them is to use one or more of these fundamentals.
Soft Skills - In some of our camps, we just Minecraft as team-building exercises. They students must work together to build a fleet of ships. Or they must design their own castle and present what they built and discuss their design decisions. Students then vote on their favorites.
Looking at Minecraft through this lense makes it easy to see that it's a no-brainer. Kids love it and they love making cool modifications to games. Take for instance, using Java to create a sword that can chop down any enemy requires the student to use variables, functions, and conditionals. Imagine how sound those fundamentals become when they are practiced repeatedly over a series of challenges and quests?
We have plenty of options for Minecraft Coding all Summer long (half-day and full-day).
Full Day Camps