The production of hydroelectricity is one of the characteristics of Quebec and fascinates by its ingenuity. What if students could better understand it and even contribute to the supply of electricity to their own network? That's what the Minecraft Electric world offers!
The RÉCIT national service team in the field of mathematics, science and technology (RÉCIT MST), in collaboration with Stéphane Coupal, MST pedagogical advisor at the Centre de services scolaires de Laval, and Philippe Chapados Tremblay, techno-pedagogical animator at the Service des ressources éducatives et informatiques of the Centre de services scolaires Marguerite-Bourgeoys, built a hydroelectric power plant from scratch, using engineering redstone in Minecraft Education.
The redstone is a supernatural and infinite source of energy that allows you to create electrical circuits from components offered in the game Minecraft and its Minecraft Education edition: conductors, power sources and receivers. The electrical system created is powered from a water tank.
The power plant models the operation of a turbine-generator pair that allows for the production of realistic energy whose distribution to the consumer stops when the gates of the hydroelectric plant are closed. Discussions with Hydro-Quebec engineers have even increased the level of realism.
"Taking into account the constraints of Minecraft, we have done everything to stick to reality in the construction of the power plant. This way, the students can discover the world of hydroelectricity in a very realistic way and even contribute to the development of the network. It becomes very concrete for them," explained Stéphane Coupal during a workshop presented at the Association pour l'enseignement de la science et de la technologie au Québec (AESTQ) conference on October 21.
The ME1 plant is now available to all those who want to experiment it. A second power plant, ME2, is under development and can also be downloaded. This second power plant offers possibilities to modulate the electricity consumption in the villages.
A complete learning situation
The designers of the plant did not limit themselves to the construction; they also developed a learning situation complete. This one presents different activities grouped in a microsite. They aim to bring students to demystify the world of electricity, to understand the functioning of electrical components, to analyze and build circuits redstone and compare them with real-life electrical circuits and components.
"With elementary school students, the teacher can simply let them move around the world to discover the installation and understand how it works. With high school students, it is possible to go further by asking them to build machines and connect them to the network, then to control the electricity consumption," explains Stéphane Coupal.
The RÉCIT MST team is available every Wednesday morning from 9-11:30 a.m. to answer questions. Simply join at the Zoom link: recitmst.qc.ca/ecv-zoom