Extend Minecraft with Code
This class gives students an introduction to programming while doing one of their favorite activities - Minecraft. Learn how to write code using variables, strings, booleans and logic, if-statements, while loops, and functions; all while applying these concepts to your own Minecraft server with class projects. Then extend the projects using your own ideas and begin to think about coding games and apps beyond Minecraft.
The class is open to students who are brand new to coding as well as those with some experience. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop (Windows or Mac) and should have Minecraft installed before class. Our instructors will help install Python and a server in the first class. Students may also rent a Start Code laptop and simply bring their own Minecraft login username and password.
Python is an excellent starting language and is also a natural next step for students who have used Scratch and are ready to keep going. Python was designed with a clear readable code style and it eliminates some of the frustration with other traditional languages like C++ and Java. Python’s popularity continues to grow and is used in places like Google, NASA, LucasFilms, CERN, and Georgia Tech. It has been embraced by the scientific community because it is easy to use and just "gets out of the way". Python is also used at all levels of education.
Parents often say that their kids "play too much Minecraft". We are fans of Minecraft and think it is a good creative outlet for students over many other screen-time activities. One of our goals at Start Code is to help students learn to create with technology. We want to see them using digital tools for imagination and creativity, not just playing games, watching video, or using social media. With Minecraft students are free to create their own worlds and then play with friends. The freedom this gives is a big reason for the games popularity. By integrating the Python programming language with Minecraft, students can take even more control over their creations and do new things not possible before. Sometimes it can be difficult to learn to program because a beginner wants to see results instantly and this can often take a lot of code, especially where graphics and gameplay are concerned. By combining Minecraft and Python we get that instant "wow factor" and students learn by having fun and don't even realize it.