AP reports on Minecraft project to educate youth about space

The Associated Press announced that University of Illinois and University of Maine researchers are working on a project to use the video game Minecraft to get students interested in science and space. University of Illinois educational psychology professor H. Chad Lane leads the project and UMaine astrophysicist Neil F. Comins is a collaborator. The team will facilitate the ability of children to ask questions about space using Minecraft as a platform. The National Science Foundation awarded the team a $2.7 million grant. 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. The Wichita Eagle, the Houston Chronicle, WMTW, WCVB and CBS Chicago carried the AP article. News Center Maine and The Maine Edge posted the UMaine news release.