Minecraft is an indie-gaming darling, and since its release it has been absolutely gobbled up by the pre-pubescent and tween set. Everyone I know who has kids between 5 and 16 has kids who play Minecraft. The game is also highly moddable, so it comes as no surprise that a number of educational tools have been built using the blocky building game. One such tool out of the UK aims to teach little younglings about molecular chemistry.
This educational version of the game comes from a group of students at Hull University, and was developed with the help of the university's Minecraft expert, Joel Mills, and senior lecturer in biological chemistry, Dr Mark Lorch. The idea is to provide a visual tool for exploring the structure of molecules, much in the same way you can use vanilla Minecraft to explore the construction of buildings, and build systems within them.
Dr. Lorch hopes this educational tool will do a lot more to engage young people in molecular chemistry in particular and science in general, stating that children who are given a tool like this are more likely to go find out more about the subject at hand than if he had just given it in a PowerPoint presentation.
The tool will be called MolCraft, and is still being trialed by the Hull University team. It's targeted of course towards schools in the UK, but due to Minecraft's ease of use for development could easily be adapted for other locations and curricula.
Souce: BBC News