Mason among researchers to speak about Minecraft, STEM study on MPBN’s ‘Maine Calling’
Bruce Segee, the Henry R. and Grace V. Butler Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maine; Craig Mason, a UMaine professor of education; and Ami Gaspar, an advanced computing outreach specialist with IT and the Maine LearnToMod project manager, were recent guests on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The researchers discussed whether the popular video game, Minecraft, can inspire players to study science and technology. The question is the basis of the researcher’s three-year, $2 million National Science Foundation project that aims to use Minecraft to better understand and promote practices to increase the likelihood that students will gain important skills and ultimately pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The researchers plan to develop and use an educational curriculum for rural middle school children that would engage them with programming, spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills by using the game.