Summer Teen Program: The Wonderful World of Minecraft with Jessica Pilsner

It is always said, “Find a job doing what you love!” Summer learning should be the same.

Minecraft has been a gaming sensation for years, and leaves those who have never played baffled about how a game can allow for such long lasting enjoyment. Speak to any Minecraft player and they can begin a long list of reasons and ways they use the game. If you listen close enough you will start to hear words like, design, programmed, created, pattern, and in the Education Edition you may even hear of a student using their knowledge of the periodic table to make pigs fly! Essential skills that students wish to grow, and employers want to see in their future employees, can be built and developed in Minecraft.


A 21st-century skill that our students will need as they continue to grow and engage to solve the local and global problems they are passionate about. Students have wide-spread access to so much information that basic route knowledge is not enough. The skill of creativity has never b

een desired more. Student’s not only learn creativity in design, but creativity in finding solutions. Technology even allows students to make a global impact and be active citizens solving problems.

Responsible Research and Consumers of Information

Every day students have access to vast quantities of information and must sift through this information for their own research and school assignments. In these Minecraft courses, students will discuss and apply digital literacy as they research for designs or social issues to build solutions.

Computer Science

For years, players have been utilizing code to “mod” and add components to Minecraft. Now, with the Education Edition of Minecraft, players can utilize block coding to learn programming basics and even begin to translate that into JavaScript. Block coding uses blocks student can slide together to code. This allows students to focus on understanding and conceptualizing, without the cognitive load of memorizing the language. In Minecraft Education Edition, students can code an agent to build, mine, and even spawn chickens! The block coding allows students to start transitioning into coding in JavaScript.

Interdisciplinary Thinking

We often hear STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and these skills blended are critical in a Minecraft build. However, as students bring in research and create purposeful, meaningful builds, skills in language, art, and history become important as well. The game allows for truly multidisciplinary learning.

Course Options:

Global Goals– Based of the UN’s Global Goals, students choose a goal and specific way they would like to start making a difference in the world. Through research and critical thinking, students design possible solutions and share information in a Minecraft artifact to start making global change!

Intro to Computer Science- Have fun learning programming and the basics of computer science in Minecraft.

STEM Design Challenges- Participate in multiple design challenges created to be fun, but also to be based in real design challenges engineers face.

Summer Teen Minecraft Courses:

Minecraft: Engineering and Design Challenge Week   NEW!

Minecraft: Intro to Computer Science    NEW!

Minecraft: Making A Global Difference   NEW!


About the Teacher- Jessica Pilsner is a Minecraft Global Mentor. This year she has worked with other Minecraft teachers around the world! At NCCE, she presented on her use of Minecraft in an interdisciplinary unit blending ELA, Global language, and computer programming language. She enjoys researching gaming in education and Virtual Reality in Education. She teaches at Renton Prep where she designs multidisciplinary learning experiences. When she is not working on education she loves snowboarding and cooking delicious food.

Last Updated June 7, 2018