Monday, 15 October 2012

New Articles, Models and Feedback.

There is so much to share in this post. A new article was published over the weekend, this article is a very well written summary of Minecraft, MinecraftEdu and what sort of learning can come out of playing a game like Minecraft. The link to the text from the article is here, please go and read it and give your support to Andrew.

I also received my new DNA models on Friday, below are some images of how it looked to begin with and how it turned out in the end.


 2 hours of cleaning later I got all the parts I needed cleaned and ready to go.

 After about 30 minutes more tweaking trying to get the 'joins' right I finally got it together, no glue required.

 This it all of the support material.

Needless to say, I am very impressed, although I am already planning ways to improve the model. I am hoping to redesign it so that instead of each block being 1mm each block will be 0.25mm and then I can leave a 0.25mm gap where I want joins, hopefully this will prevent the 30mins trying to clean out the joins.

Also to try and minimise the support material, as well as the time take to remove and clean each piece, I am thinking of making the sugar-phosphate backbone and the nitrogenous base separate, this would mean I could print the backbone in 1 colour, with a spot for the nitrogenous base to 'clip' in and then print each different nitrogenous base in a different colour with minimal support.

This should not only make the whole model easier to print, clean and assemble, but also provide a great visual of the base pairing rule. I should mention that the print above took 3 hours to print with a total cost of about $3.00 in materials.

Now for the feedback part, as you may know if you have read earlier posts from this year, we have 3 year 7 classes, I currently teach 2 of them, and only 1 class has been introduced to the gravity experimentation map. I asked the teacher of the other class if they were interested in doing the map, she was interested, but wanted a bit more of an idea as to what it was. That was until today...

Today she was chatting to her maths class (which is the class that has begun the map), and one of the students was raving about the activity and was quite proud to "be a scientist" so perhaps the engagement is there and I was just too stressed about the lesson the other day to see it happening properly. I think the quote was something like "It is awesome, we ARE scientists" I have got to say that brought a pretty big smile to my face.

The great thing is that we have found out what caused the teleport blocks to stop working and it is now fixed in the latest pre-release of MinecraftEdu, so maybe I will be able to 'play my role' again next lesson and be the scientific supervisor that I should be.

Enough sharing for now, thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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