Sunday 22 April 2018

Project 31: Minecraft and Redstone

At Solomon's instigation we explored Minecraft and redstone (Minecraft's answer to electronics) a bit further this week.

Solomon has quite an extensive library of Minecraft books, and we tried building a couple of items out of the Minecraft Guide to Redstone, adding them to his ongoing Minecraft castle.  Unfortunately, whilst the armour swapper we built at one end of the castle wall worked well, when we tried to build an elevator at the other end it kept shooting off into the sky! We think the problem was that to get an observer block facing in the right direction on the Switch we had to mine the redstone below it, and when the redstone was replaced it triggered the observer. We'll see if we can find a workaround, but it may be that the elevator is something we have to create on the PC instead.

Minecraft Armour Swapper
We bought the Minecraft Windows 10 edition specifically for this week's project so that Solomon could try programming with MakeCode for Minecraft. MakeCode for Minecraft is a drag and drop blocks programming language for interacting with Minecraft (specifically the Windows 10 or Education editions). It is easy to use, and Solomon loved it - undoubtedly his favourite form of programming so far. If you have a child who likes Minecraft, and you want to encourage programming, this is a great option. We stuck to the simple tutorials, but there are even lesson plans available for introducing more complex ideas such as artificial intelligence.

MakeCode for Minecraft
We didn't just want Solomon stuck in front of a computer screen all week, so we also got him and his sister to make some Minecraft mosaic masks.
'Alex' and 'Ender Dragon' Mosaic Masks
Next week's project: Board games!

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