Search form

Using Minecraft to Encourage STEAM

Commonly known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), STEAM now adds another subject to its acronym: art. STEM, now STEAM, highlights underutilized subjects in schools and communities. Emphasizing these fields of study breeds a new generation of creative, innovative thinkers.

And the online game Minecraft can immerse students, and teachers, in an interactive cognitive community. Minecraft is highly acknowledged for its ability to create hard skills like problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. The digital game creates an exploratory environment while offering limitless freedom to experience adventures and encouraging imaginative self-expression through science and art.

How Minecraft Encourages STEAM

You, as an educator, don't have to be comfortable using Minecraft to incorporate it into your lessons. You just have to know about the program and encourage your students to play.

However, it does help to create an achievement or reward system for students. Achievements can improve participation in class and interest in STEAM as a result of learners becoming immersed in Minecraft.

1. Minecraft has the Power to Deliver the "A" to STEAM

Minecraft allows its users to take iconic works of art and recreate them in a block-based environment. Using the game as a learning tool will let you delve into students' creative side while working towards your curriculum's other goals.

2. Minecraft Offers Math Applications

Students can learn how to complete Minecraft-inspired projects covering various dimensions such as areas, volume, and perimeter. It can also be used as a station project where students either move about the classroom to solve different problems or hop onto a different secure server.

Therefore, it's important to have this game learning tool in their classroom or improvise it using the paper-based challenges.

3. Rebuild Historic Places, or Entirely New Ones, in Minecraft.

The A in STEAM isn't solely limited to art. In fact, students will have an easier time combining science and art to achieve architecture. The building blocks of Minecraft are, well, just that: building blocks. It's up to the user's creativity level to generate ideas and construct buildings. Architecture requires many skills like planning ahead, preparing or gathering material, and dreaming up a place.  

An exciting and, at times, unpredictable element of the game is that your character sometimes dies temporarily. Upon respawning, you may have to look for food, materials, and resources to get you back on track. Here, students can devise the best strategy for navigating these challenges and learn what works for them.

4. Minecraft Builds Programming Skills and Expertise

When computer programmers first start coding, they first create games. Games are a system of if/then statements that trigger responses for things to occur on certain cues. As students play Minecraft, they might start to wonder how the game works or even how they could develop their own game and improve it. 

Minecraft solves the scarcity demand for computer science and coding skills available in today's workforce.

5. Minecraft Encourages Homework

Yes, you read that right. Most students avoid complex homework like the plague if they assume it's beyond their knowledge. The same is true when it comes to games that seem easy. Minecraft provides a positive challenge that stretches students' minds to solve problems and opens different pathways in the brain to develop.

If you still don't believe me, try relating lesson plans and homework assignments to the game. Or include the game as part of their homework assignment to solve the problem!

6. Minecraft Benefits Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Part of the arts includes soft skills. By playing Minecraft, students can develop several abilities, including the following:

  • Problem-solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Prioritization
  • Empathy

Each of these skills is utilized in STEAM fields and teaches students how to approach problems differently. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to learn, just as there is no right or wrong way to teach.

Game Time All The Time

Voluntary participation is one essential concept that underlines Minecraft and genuine game-based learning. Minecraft harnesses the potential of games and integrates them into curricula and other forms of serious education.

Tailor the game-based learning program to your needs and for your students. You'll see a change in engagement, achievement, and many other development areas. So what are you waiting for? Head down to the library and check out those Chrome carts so you can get started playing Minecraft today!

Written by Rosyln Kati
Education World Contributor
Copyright© 2022 Education World