Mark Lorch and Joel Mills developed MolCraft with students from the University of Hull

Mark Lorch and Joel Mills developed MolCraft with students from the University of Hull

MolCraft

MolCraft is a world where the majestic helices of myoglobin rise above you. Where you can explore this massive molecule and its iron centre that carries oxygen around your muscles. Or, if you prefer you can fly down a pore through which water molecules normally flow across cell membranes.

In MolCraft, anyone can explore the building blocks of these incredible natural nano-machines. You can discover how just 20 chemical building blocks can result in the astonishing diversity of structures and functions that are required to hold living things together.

This project was the brain-child of University academics Dr Mark Lorch and Joel Mills. Both avid gamers, Mark approached Joel after seeing his work on the History Makers project at the University. He had spoken to 3rd Year undergraduate students about their project evidence and was keen to utilise game based learning as an innovative assessment tool. A group of 6 students came forward and the discussions began as to how they might visualise their evidence more creatively.

After a few meetings with the students, MolCraft was born. Joel and Mark then facilitated the project utilising GBL approaches to draw out the learning from the group.

The map was designed by the students with pedagogic advice and support from the tutors to create a playable map that anyone can access or download. The map is also available for download through the MinecraftEDU world Library.

To experience MolCraft using Minecraft 1.8, please add MolCraft.nitrous.it to your Minecraft Multiplayer servers.