Teaching Kit

MineCraft a flavor of JAVA

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Description

Photo by Epik
EPIK "Mozilla Club" Minecraft family code days at ionCube offices

This workshop is for anyone interested or new to the world of coding and digital making who would like to explore what else you can do with MineCraft. In this event we will be exploring remixing the programing language of JAVA with the help of NetBeans IDE and explore how this can be used to affect in game MineCraft objects.

This teaching kit is specifically designed to use the construction-based video game Minecraft - a creative digital media that children and young people are choosing to engage with. This through starting the process of exploring how you can alter and remix the Java game code by amending values and taking chunks of snippets of code from one game object to change the property of another, simply, by using cut and paste and adding a dash of thinking for yourself as a lesson in "Code literacy" through play.

EPIK Overview

photo by epik

EPIK (Encouraging Programming In Kids) is a voluntary Kent based Mozilla youth group for geeky youths and their families. EPIK’s focus is to encourage programming, this both within a technical context and also as developing social skills through peer to peer collaborative projects.

Minecraft Overview

Photo by EPIK

Minecraft is a hugely popular sandbox construction game created by MOJANG (Now owned by Microsoft) it is akin to digital LEGO. The game involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three-dimensional environment and thus also aligned to CAD (computer aided design); EPIK is currently working on a project that aims to scaffold a skill transfer to CAD and 3D printing from Minecraft in time for the next London MozFest @youthZone.

Learning objectives

These activities will help learners explore and play with the JAVA programming language. Learners will explore:

  • The basic structure and syntax of Java
  • Set up NetBeans JAVA development environment and install a tool to mod
  • Manipulate code and amend JAVA code to mod MineCraft
  • Make a customised item in Minecraft using code
  • Navigate the Minecraft interface and build new mods
  • Reflect on their coding adventures

Agenda

  1. Install the EPIK Minecraft Mod Kit for NetBeans
  2. Code your own Exploding Arrows
  3. Mod your own Diamond Laying Chickens
  4. Discussion: 15 minutes before the end of the session ask the kids to take their chair to an open area and sit in a circle and ask them 'What was the best part of the day for them' in a round robin fashion. Talk about what each participant did during the session.
  5. Play a Strong Wind Blows to end the session

Assessment and review

You can get an idea of whether learners have gained from this session by noticing if a learner:

  • Works collaboratively and openly with others to complete activities or tasks.
  • Attempted the Chicken diamond laying mod excersie and made the chicken lay something more than just the diamonds.
  • Shared. Learners who enthusiastically share what they are working on are likely building technical as well as social skills.

Assessment criteria

  • Downloaded and installed NetBeans
  • Installed the EPIK Minecraft Mod Kit
  • Created a diamond laying chicken
  • Made the chicken lay something else
  • Created an exploding arrow
  • Made sure all had fun in their own way :)