Exploring Science with Minecraft

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Physics, geology and engineering.  Earth science and agriculture.  The list of science topics that can be explored using Minecraft is long and filled with possibilities.

In this post you’ll find a  ideas and resources to help you get started. Follow your child’s interest whenever possible and let them run with it! Provide opportunities for them to deepen their study (play!) by looking for the next step and showing the way.

Physics: Have your child design and build a working roller coaster in Minecraft. Do experiments on acceleration and velocity.

Earth Science: Explore a biome. Compare (for example) the desert biome in Minecraft to one of the world’s largest deserts.

Volcanoes: Research volcanoes together. Let them build a volcano in Minecraft and ask them to include as many true to life details as possible. Find great kid friendly resources and videos about volcanoes here.

Geology: Learn about the materials used to craft. What are they like in reality? Where in the world can the different types of rock be found? Have any of these materials been used to build your own house? What are the differences between how these resources are mined in Minecraft and in reality (there’s a huge difference!).

Exploring Gravity: Talk about the law of gravity. How does it differ in Minecraft? For advanced / interested students, check out this article on gravity in Minecraft. Here’s the accompanying video:

Agriculture: Plant a field of crops in Minecraft and help it grow. Certain crops require more effort to successfully grow and harvest. Large plants like melons or pumpkins will require more care. Find out what your crops need. How much time does it take to grow? What is the best way to harvest the crops? How does that compare to growing crops or a small garden in your yard?

Raising Animals: You child can raise a flock of sheep, craft shears, sheer the sheep and dye the wool (16 colors possible).  These blocks of wool are weak and highly flammable, but can be used to bring color to your buildings or artistic designs in Minecraft. Wool is a key component for crafting beds and paintings. Discuss this process in real life. Start by watching a sheep shearing contest, talk about how the wool is processed by hand (carded, spun, dyed) or by machine. Aside from sheep, what other animals are shorn for their fibers?

Engineering with Redstone. By using redstone dust to create circuits, players can build all kinds of machines, from lamps to trap doors.  I will be adding a post later in this series covering this in depth!

If you are looking more more science in Minecraft resources, Youtube has many videos by very talented teachers illustrating complex concepts in Minecraft. Here’s one that explains entropy:

This is Day 6 of 10 Days of Minecraft Learning.

Looking for more great ideas for your home, homeschool and life? Check out the rest of the 10 Days Series on a variety of topics at the iHomeschool Network Hopscotch!

About Amy Landisman

Professional freelance writer. Homeschool mom of three girls. Introvert and rebel. Life learner. Coffee addict.

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