Minecraft is Teaching Urban Engineering Concepts
Minecraft is emerging as one of the most pleasant surprises in game-based learning. Already existing in some schools as a social tool and Roman history lesson, the Swedish-developed block building game has found its way into the mandatory learning curriculum for one particular school in Stockholm.
The Viktor Rydberg school in Stockholm has made Minecraft a part of the compulsory learning curriculum for about 180 students. This new curriculum addition stems from an internnational school competition called Future City that aims to teach students more about urban engineering.
Students taking the Minecraft class are learning how to create virtual worlds, powered by electricity grids, water supply networks, and other projects related to urban planning and infrastructure.
Monica Ekman, one of the teachers at Viktor Rydberg. stated: “They learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future,”
Minecraft’s sandbox nature and endlessly customizable features enable it to not only be a tool but to be an entire interactive environment for students to learn in. Its not just any game, especially when its customized to specific lesson plans. Ekman says:“The boys knew a lot about it before we even started, but the girls were happy to create and build something too – it’s not any different from arts or woodcraft,”
Gamification principles work so well in the modern era because it appeals to the current generation of people in the same way the most modern entertainment engages them and could even teach concepts traditional teaching could not, like digital citizenship and civic behavior.
To see how you can begin incorporating Minecraft into your school curriculum, check out MinecraftEdu for some teacher resources and a discounted version of the popular game.