Aug 222019

The summer is over, and another successful Minecraft Camp is in the books! The kids worked on one large project, called a museum of constellations for most of the Saturdays we were together. This project was inspired by Molcraft, a project created by students and faculty at the University of Hull in the UK to create an immersive chemistry learning experience. In Molcraft, you can tour huge models of proteins and common chemicals, learning facts from signs and from Minecraft Villagers who seem to talk to you and searching for hidden prizes among the models. In HML’s constellation museum, we did something similar by building models of constellations, sprinkling facts around the area, building our own “talking” villagers with a redstone machine, and hiding prizes for museum guests.

To complete all this, kids started by picking out a constellation and doing some research about it in books and online. Then, on some printed out star maps, they measured the distances between stars as they appear in the night sky and made a scale model of their constellation. Some of our Minecrafters learned an important lesson about how the scale you choose matters when their constellation models ended up positively gigantic, while their friends had a much more manageable size, all because they decided that every millimeter on the page represented two blocks in Minecraft instead of one. Finally, they finished by sharing their research through signs, books, and a redstone machine that creates the illusion of someone (or something) talking to you through the in-game chat.

We’re proud of everything the kids created in our constellation museum, from one kid’s very avant garde take on the project to another’s precise recreation of Ursa Minor. And yet… there’s not enough kids in Minecraft Camp to create every constellation, so our museum has lots of room left to fill! If you want to add your own constellation model, or if you just want to tour what we did, you can download our Minecraft world by downloading this folder. If you don’t know how to download a Minecraft world and play in it, you can follow instructions here. If you do add on to our museum, send it back and we’ll include your contribution!

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