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      Using Minecraft to engage children with science at public events

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          Abstract

          Engagement with science and scientific skills is an important aspect of children's ability to navigate the world around them, but engagement with science is low in comparison with other subjects. The Lancaster University outreach project Science Hunters takes a novel approach to engaging children with environmental science research through a constructivist pedagogical approach using the popular computer game Minecraft. While Minecraft is extensively used in formal education settings, few data are available on its use in public engagement with scientific research, and the relationship between children's and adults' attitudes to science and computer games are complex. Through motivational surveys conducted as part of the project evaluation, we analysed feedback from participants who attended sessions as part of a programme at public events, to explore the basic demographics of children attending our events, and whether it is the prospect of learning about science, or the opportunity to play Minecraft that leads them to choose our activity. We also present evaluation of general feedback from participants at public events over four years to give a broader view of participants' response to the activities.

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          Journal
          72010652
          Research for All
          UCL IOE Press
          2399-8121
          12 September 2019
          : 3
          : 2
          : 142-160
          Article
          2399-8121(20190912)3:2L.142;1- s3.phd /ioep/rfa/2019/00000003/00000002/art00003
          10.18546/RFA.03.2.03
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          Research for All
          Volume 3, Issue 2

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