Science Hunters: teaching science concepts in schools using Minecraft
Laura Hobbs 1, 2  
,  
Carly Stevens 1
,  
Mark Ashby 1
,  
Benjamin Jackson 1, 3
,  
Lauren Bowden 4, 5
,  
Jordan Bibby 4, 6
,  
 
 
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1
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
2
Also at: Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England
3
Now at: Department of Geography, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
4
Department of Psychology, Lancaster University
5
Now at: School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University
6
Now at: School ofHealth in Social Science, University of Edinburgh
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Laura Hobbs   

Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster Environment Centre, LA1 4YQ, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Publish date: 2019-11-21
 
ARiSE 2019;2(2):13–21
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background Science Hunters is an outreach project based at Lancaster University, UK. It uses the computer game Minecraft, alongside interactive discussion and hands-on demonstrations, to engage children with scientific research topics and science learning. Material and methods As part of ongoing evaluation, the efficacy of this approach as an educational intervention was tested via pre- and post-activity questionnaires for two session topics,with 492 children participating through schools in 2017 and 2018. Results Statistically significant mprovement in subject knowledge was seen in post-intervention scores for both topics. There was some variation in both absolute and improvement score results between boys and girls, and primary and secondary school students. Conclusions Participation leads to improved subject knowledge and understanding, regardless of prior existing knowledge.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We gratefully acknowledge funding from Lancaster University, the assistance of Lancaster University student volunteers supporting session delivery, and staff and students at participating schools.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
No conflict of interests were declared by authors.
 
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