Minecraft Helps Students Study Space

Researchers in Maine and Illinois hope to use the video game to get students interested in science and space.

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ORONO, Maine (AP) — A team with researchers in Maine and Illinois is working on a project to use the video game Minecraft to get students interested in science and space.

The project is led by University of Illinois educational psychology professor H. Chad Lane, and University of Maine astrophysicist Neil F. Comins is a collaborator. UMaine says the team will facilitate the ability of children to ask questions about space using Minecraft as a platform.

The project has received a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. UMaine says children will be able to ask "space-related what-if questions to explore hypothetical exoplanets and see how their worlds differ from Earth."

Comins and UMaine graduate student Zach Smith are developing conditions for "alternative Earths" that will be a part of the project.

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