The Experiment

The Experiment

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Computer Science


Running Out of Time: The Experiment. Creativity in Coding and Introduction to Variables

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

September 3, 2020


  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

Learning Objectives

  • Debug, (identify and fix) errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops. 1A-AP-14
  • Compare and refine multiple algorithms for the same task and determine which is the most appropriate. 1B-AP-08
  • Create programs that use variables to store and modify data. 1B-AP-09
  • Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals. 1B-AP-10
  • Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process. 1B-AP-11

Guiding Ideas

While testing our latest time traveling device, we’re stuck in a time loop. This loop is sending us to random times. We must use our coding powers to overcome the obstacles and find our way to the time gate.

Coding objectives:

In Block 3 students will be exploring creativity in coding. Over the past two blocks students have learned many coding principles and learned how to use code to accomplish goals in the lessons. Throughout those lessons it was reiterated that there may be more than one solution to an activity. This block will allow students to explore that autonomy. These activities will either be student validated (the student achieves the objective successfully) or world validated (the student uses a specific code and/or block that lets the game know the objective is achieved). This block is to teach students to be creative with coding, persevere, problem solve, and try new things.

Student Activities

Coding Practice – Creativity, Player Validation, World Validation, and Special Effects

Coding activities: (30 min)

Activity 1: Lava Swim

The student should use On Player Swim with Lava Resistance (with the default values) to give themselves the fire resistance ability to cross the lake of lava. The lava lake is only one block deep (student does not need to swim). However, the lake is wide enough the student cannot jump over it without assistance from effects.

Activity 2: The Climb

The student should use the Forever event to give themselves the Jump boost (using default values) to climb up to the inaccessible area. There will be an area where the student must climb to reach the next area. Jump boost 2 (which the student should give themselves) gives them a jump boost to allow them to jump up 2.5 blocks. The students’ objective will be to reach the top in order to access the next area.

Activity 3: Building

The students will be required to use On Block Placed event to start counting up a variable and saying the current number after each block placed. The students will need to place at least 34 blocks in order to move on. They should be copying the pyramid that they will see. The building blocks can be iron, diamond, gold or emerald. In the event of successful completion, the beacon will appear at the top of the pyramid.

Activity 4: Change the World!

The student must figure out what the code is to open the door to the next area. They should use On Player Walk event to set a block at a specific set of coordinates. Every time they walk, the count variable will increase by 1 and place a block that’s associated with that block ID. 1=Stone, 2=Grass, 3=Dirt, etc.

Activity 5: Make it Rain!

Students should string together multiple events to make it rain. This is done by setting a variable to “true” for each event when fired and then having a forever loop running checking that all events are true and then making it rain. Students can use any event handlers to make it rain in Minecraft!

Performance Expectations

Ask the students about the skills that they have learned during the lesson, to reinforce the concepts.

Q. What is an Event?

A. An event in computer science is an action or occurrence that is detected by a computer. For example, when someone selects the button on their mouse, it generates a “mouse click event” for the computer.

Q. What is a Variable?

A. Variables are a lot like lockers: variables are places in which computers keep things. Computers need containers in which to keep numbers, text, and other information so that later they can make decisions. The code tells the computer when to look in these lockers and what to look for.

Q. What is an event handler? Can you name at least 2 event handlers?

A. An event handler is a part of your program that runs when a specific event happens (it “handles” the event).

On Player walk/ swim/ fall/ swim lava/ fly, etc., On Item Used, On chat command, etc.

Q. What is one thing you were excited about today?

A. Answers may vary.



  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking