Science Hunters engages children of all ages with science using the popular computer game Minecraft. They learn about scientific concepts and research before building their own related creations in the game.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not currently undertaking face-to-face work. We have two projects running at Lancaster University and others based at the University of the West of England, which are currently engaging children virtually. For more information please see the details below and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ExtendingSTEM@uwe.ac.uk.
Linnean Society outreach
Science Hunters is currently working with the Linnean Society, the world's oldest active biological society, to develop sessions and training to facilitate setup and delivery of Minecraft Clubs in schools. Sessions will be based around natural history content, linking to Linnean Society Learning and encouraging exploration of nature, understanding of the natural world and learning about life on Earth. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, Science Hunters are currently developing full online sessions for schools, which will include support in terms of technical set up, providing hands on resources and delivering interactive sessions online. This will provide high quality remote sessions that inspire students and give them the experience of engaging with science and scientists. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minecraft and Periodic Table
This project was funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry to link with the International Year of the Periodic Table. Sessions for Science Hunters Minecraft Clubs for children with Special Educational Needs and Looked After Children were developed to explore the periodic table and selected elements using Minecraft. Online video versions are available on YouTube and a report on the project is available in the RSC Environmental Chemistry Group Bulletin.
The Amazon Rainforest in Minecraft
Funded as part of the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences, this project explored the Amazon rainforest, and how people interact with it, in Minecraft. A bespoke rainforest world was used in schools, in public libraries in England and at Science Hunters Minecraft Clubs for children with Special Educational Needs and Looked After Children. An online video version of the session is available on YouTube.
Building our Understanding of Diabetes with Minecraft (BUD-M)
Based at UWE Bristol and initially funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Building our Understanding of Diabetes with Minecraft uses a virtual model of the human body to support children to explore how diabetes works, from a whole body down to molecular scale. Sessions for children who may face barriers to accessing educational opportunities were delivered around the UK prior to COVID-19 restrictions; online resources are now available for anyone to use and include videos about diabetes, a tour of the Minecraft human body and insights into how it was made. For more information please email ExtendingSTEM@uwe.ac.uk.
Building to Break Barriers
Building to Break Barriers engages children with engineering through Minecraft and inspirational role models. With children and engineers, the project designs and develops specific engineering-based outreach sessions and free online resources, for delivery around the UK. The project particularly focuses on engaging under-represented groups in engineering, including children with special educational needs and disabilities, children from deprived areas, women and girls. The project is based at UWE Bristol and funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. For more information or to get involved please email ExtendingSTEM@uwe.ac.uk.
More about Science Hunters
History of Science Hunters 2015-2020
Science Hunters began as a small Widening Participation outreach project engaging children with environmental science research. Over five years, it grew to be one of the largest such projects in the UK, reaching more than 18,000 children in schools, at public events and through our Minecraft Clubs and expanding to operate through the Science Communication Unit at UWE Bristol and collaborate with the Universities of Aberdeen, Newcastle, Hull and Loughborough as well as many other external partner organisations. More information about our project design, approach, practice and research can be found in the articles below.
- An inclusive approach to teaching science using Minecraft
- Science learning through Minecraft
- Using Minecraft to engage children with science at public events
- Teaching science concepts using Minecraft
- Exploring geosciences with Minecraft (p. 25)
- Environmental education and engagement (p. 20)
- Making STEM for everyone
- Science appeal through Minecraft for students with autism
- Exploring coral reef conservation in Minecraft
- Elements of construction - the periodic table in Minecraft (p.21)
- Collaborative development of school Minecraft resources
- Shared special interest play: Minecraft Club for children with Special Educational Needs
- Using Minecraft modes in teaching
- Build your own volcano | Geological Society of London
- Using Minecraft to engage children with science learning | Special Needs Jungle
- Science Hunters - Minecraft | Twinkl Education blog
- Minibeasts, lava flows and Minecraft at Lancashire Science Festival
- BBC News TV report
- Inside Science, BBC Radio 4 (from 17.04)