MInecraft And Science: How College Students Learn Chemistry By Playing The GameBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
Is there anything more fun than learning science by playing a video game? A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas, just discovered that.The researchers have thought about tweaking the approach to learning and making it more engaging and effective through a popular game, and that is how their team which consists of a materials scientist, two chemists and a game design expert found how students can learn chemistry in the process when they played Minecraft, according to Science Daily.
The study involves a group of 39 students who are taking diverse majors who were asked to play an enhanced version of the video game. Dr. Walter Voit is the leader in the making of the "Polycraft Word" which is an adaptation for Minecraft. The game allows the players to incorporate the properties of chemical elements and compounds into game activities.
What players need to do is to follow the mod and the instructions provided on a wiki to learn how to play the game and create things using the processes that involve distillation, chemical synthesis and manufacturing processes, according to Supporting Education.
Voit said that their goal is to demonstrate the advantages of utilizing a gaming format for learning and presenting an educational content, and that the experience like that of Polycraft World can show the future of education.
To ensure that the game had accurate information, the team recruited two chemistry professors who were able to produce more than 2,000 methods for building more than 100 various polymers from thousands of chemicals available. Then the platform was developed by programmers who took a year to complete.
Dr. Ron Smaldone, a chemistry professor said that the only thing they did was to use the abilities of the Minecraft players which is to build and assemble things, and required them to apply these abilities to scientific principles that they have programmed.