MoPOP's new virtual student clubs offer an opportunity for students to connect while remaining safely apart! Ages 11-18 are invited to connect with fellow students who share interests, solve creative challenges together, and explore MoPOP's content wherever they are.
Read on for a recap of our first virtual student club, which focused on creating a thriving Minecraft community, and be sure to check out the details for our next student club offering: a virtual Cosplay Club launching in February 2021!
With many students isolated from their peers during the COVID-19 pandemic, MoPOP educators turned to Minecraft, the focus of 2019's Minecraft: The Exhibition, as a fun way to connect students to museum content while providing a safe platform for social interaction outside of school.
The club's goal was to create a self-sustaining community in a survival Minecraft world. Through six weeks of working together to survive, putting their community's needs before their own, and exploring real-world issues in a virtual environment, participants in our nonprofit museum's pilot program capped the club with an online pool party. Sounds like a success, right?
Jessica Lane, MoPOP's Manager of Museum Education, looks back on what the club was able to accomplish in its six weeks online:
In our first club meeting, we talked about what a self-sustaining community means to us, created our community rules, and talked about the things we’d need to survive our first night in Minecraft. By the end of our first session, we found two villages, realized we’d need a leader to help us stay organized, and chose to make the abandoned village our new home.
Minecraft Student Club Community Rules:
- Rule 1: Be kind and respect each other. This is a safe, creative space, and all ideas are welcome.
- Rule 2: Work together. We are all working toward the same goal.
- Rule 3: There’s no such thing as a bad idea! Listen to everyone’s ideas.
- Rule 4: No stealing—ask for permission before using someone else’s items.
- Rule 5: Valuable blocks (diamonds, redstone, etc.) are shared resources that the whole group can use.
- Rule 6: Share and help each other.
- Rule 7: Use polite language.
- Rule 8: Only use cheat codes to teleport to another player.
- Rule 9: Chests inside someone’s house are not community property. Ask permission before taking anything from someone else’s chest.
We looked at examples of other real-world communities and talked about some of their design ideas. In thinking about our own community, we made a list of some of the features we’d like to build over the next weeks. We focused on making repairs and gathering resources.
This was a big build day! We spent most of our time in the world. Groups went out to raid the desert village, mine for resources, search for food, and secure our perimeter. We realized just how much food we need to feed everyone!!
After a week away for Thanksgiving, we took a tour of some of our houses. After some mysterious looting, we also added a new rule that chests in club members’ houses are their own personal property. We organized a hunting expedition, a Nether resource group, and ongoing work in the village.
It’s all about the FOOD! After realizing we’re still starving (a LOT!), we decided to make food our main goal for this week. One group took a shortcut through the Nether to search for food while another group kept working in the village. We faced a challenge at the end of the build with an accidental cheat code that killed off our animals and blew up a house.
Strong communities move forward! We worked together to rebuild after the accident, and our village is back on its feet! For our final build, we reflected on how far we’ve come and decided to have some fun adventures. One group headed out to raid an Ocean Monument, and another group worked on building a swimming pool in the village. We ended our last session with a community pool party!
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