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ERIC Number: EJ1174820
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Minecraft Comes to Math Class
Moore, Kimberly
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v23 n6 p334-341 Apr 2018
Minecraft is an open world survival computer game that was originally created in Sweden in 2011 and later purchased by Microsoft® in 2014. It is among the most popular computer games with students of all ages because it gives players a sense of ownership and opportunities for creative exploration. The game has three unique features: (1) no clear goals, (2) simple graphics, and (3) endless opportunities for construction. Microsoft has capitalized on its potential as an educational tool by developing an Education Edition, released in September 2016. Because all the buildings and characters in Minecraft are built from cubes and the cubes are joined together to create prisms, this game offers an excellent avenue for students to explore several difficult topics within the middle-grades curriculum, including surface area, volume, and the effect of dimensional change. In the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), eighth-grade students in the United States scored below the scaled average in the areas of geometry and measurement (Provasnik et al. 2012). One area of concern is that "students get confused between formulas for measurement since they never had a conceptual understanding of these measurements" (Steele 2013, p. 247). The activities presented in this article can help students build their knowledge of volume and surface area through concrete experiences. (A bibliography is included.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1321319