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Using Minecraft to engage children with science at public events

Hobbs, Laura; Stevens, Carly; Hartley, Jackie; Ashby, Mark; Lea, Isobel; Bowden, Lauren; Bibby, Jordan; Jackson, Benjamin; McLaughlin, Rhian; Burke, Thomas

Authors

Carly Stevens

Jackie Hartley

Mark Ashby

Isobel Lea

Lauren Bowden

Jordan Bibby

Benjamin Jackson

Rhian McLaughlin

Thomas Burke



Abstract

Engagement with science and scientific skills is an important aspect of children's ability to navigate the world around them, but engagement with science is low in comparison with other subjects. The Lancaster University outreach project Science Hunters takes a novel approach to engaging children with environmental science research through a constructivist pedagogical approach using the popular computer game Minecraft. While Minecraft is extensively used in formal education settings, few data are available on its use in public engagement with scientific research, and the relationship between children's and adults' attitudes to science and computer games are complex. Through motivational surveys conducted as part of the project evaluation, we analysed feedback from participants who attended sessions as part of a programme at public events, to explore the basic demographics of children attending our events, and whether it is the prospect of learning about science, or the opportunity to play Minecraft that leads them to choose our activity. We also present evaluation of general feedback from participants at public events over four years to give a broader view of participants' response to the activities.

Citation

Hobbs, L., Stevens, C., Hartley, J., Ashby, M., Lea, I., Bowden, L., …Burke, T. (2019). Using Minecraft to engage children with science at public events. Research for All, 3(2), 142-160. https://doi.org/10.18546/RFA.03.2.03

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2019
Publication Date Sep 12, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 5, 2019
Journal Research for All
Electronic ISSN 2399-8121
Publisher UCL IOE Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 142-160
DOI https://doi.org/10.18546/RFA.03.2.03
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/2755510
Publisher URL https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ioep/rfa/2019/00000003/00000002/art00003;jsessionid=1oyqkoq64g82a.x-ic-live-01

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