internalDrive – The World’s Leading Summer Tech Program for Kids and Teens – Announces Four New Courses Based on the Minecraft Platform

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Minecraft is building a revolution with video game-based learning, as educators worldwide are incorporating Mojang’s popular title into their core curricula.

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Parents want kids to have fun during summer—but learning valuable STEM skills along the way is invaluable. It’s learning without knowing they’re learning—and that is very natural.

The relationship between video games and learning is picking up steam. internalDrive, the world’s leading summer tech program and company powering iD Tech Camps, iD Programming Academy, iD Gaming Academy, and iD Visual Arts Academy, has unveiled four new courses based on the Minecraft platform. Two of the new courses will be taking place at iD Tech Camps (ages 7-17), with one offering each for ages 13-18 at iD Gaming Academy and iD Programming Academy.

During the summer programs, kids and teens develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills from recreating the indie “sandbox” game by Swedish development studio Mojang. Students code modifications through Java, and implement ideas into their own Minecraft worlds. They are exposed to variables, data types, and operators, and develop an understanding of control flow using conditional statements, loops, and functions. Participants leave camp with a portfolio of their mods to play at home. Not exactly child’s play.

Specifically, internalDrive’s Minecraft courses include:

3D GAME DESIGN WITH MINECRAFT (iD Tech Camps)
Ages 9-12 | BEGINNER – ADVANCED
Install and manage Minecraft modifications and learn how to host a server for classmates while accelerating your Minecraft creation skills. Engage in individual and team-based 3D design challenges, design and build a roller coaster, and then publish your own Minecraft map.

MINECRAFT – GAME MODDING & JAVA CODING (iD Tech Camps)
Ages 13-17 | INTERMEDIATE – ADVANCED
Polish your Minecraft creation skills then jump into making your own mods – while programming in Java. Create custom armor, make your own blocks, and program your own recipes. Work with classmates to play test your modifications and then publish your mods at the end of the week.

MODDING & PROGRAMMING WITH MINECRAFT (iD Programming Academy- 2 week, pre-college program)
AGES 13-18| BEGINNER – ADVANCED
Create a custom Minecraft mod while learning the Java skills related to engineering, 3D rendering, development, and more.

GAME DEVELOPMENT – MINECRAFT (iD Gaming Academy- 2 week, pre-college program)
AGES 13-18| BEGINNER – ADVANCED
Learn Minecraft tools and techniques along with Java fundamentals. Then, utilize strategies in game design and create compelling levels. Strengthen your new-found skills by programming Minecraft modifications.

Registration for the courses launched in November, and enrollment has been brisk.

“Our new Minecraft classes have become an instant hit,” says iD Tech Camps President & CEO Pete Ingram-Cauchi. “Parents want kids to have fun during summer—but learning valuable STEM skills along the way is invaluable. It’s learning without knowing they’re learning—and that is very natural,” said Ingram-Cauchi.

Each internalDrive program has a strong STEM focus, which is proving to be an effective way to prepare students for today’s job market. Students are able to build on existing interests, while learning new skills to give them a competitive edge for college and future lucrative careers in technology. Over the past 14 years, more than 150,000 students worldwide have participated. iD guarantees small class sizes (max 8:1 guaranteed) taught by fun, adult-only instructors for personalized 1-on-1 instruction. The youth and teen camps are held at 60 university campuses including Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and more.

As for Minecraft, the game is more popular than ever–about 40 million users have registered worldwide. Players traverse vast landscapes of mountains, forests, caves, and various water bodies. Their characters hunt, sail, and farm while constructing homes and objects by breaking and placing textured cubes in a 3D world. The goal is to survive, or simply invent.

Altogether, the concept of summer “downtime” is fading–just as the dividing line between video games and education is blurring. Kids and Teens now look forward to summer tech camps and the free-roaming virtual worlds of Minecraft to learn and play. With game-based curricula, students don’t even realize which is which.

More information about Mojang and Minecraft can be found at http://www.mojang.com.

ABOUT iD TECH CAMPS AND iD TEEN ACADEMIES
iD Tech Camps and iD Teen Academies engage students ages 7-18 in STEM education with summer programs for kids and teens held at over 60 prestigious universities nationwide, including Stanford, Princeton, and others. Sessions are weeklong, day and overnight. Also pre-college, immersive iD Gaming Academy, iD Programming Academy, and iD Visual Arts Academy for Teens. Visit http://www.internalDrive.com or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324).

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Karen Thurm Safran
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