Sci-tech

'Minecraft' adds 'Oregon Trail' to teach kids about frontier life

'Minecraft' adds 'Oregon Trail' to teach kids about frontier life”

Many kids who attended school in the 1980s and 1990s will probably have fond memories of The Oregon Trail. Microsoft claims that the Oregon Trail Experience is an educational journey through 19th century communities, from Missouri to the Oregon Coast.

Before you fire up your version of Minecraft to download this add-on, there's a catch: Because it's specifically an educational endeavor (in partnership with publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), the add-on is only available through the education edition of the game.

The Oregon Trail is headed back to classrooms thanks to an unexpected partner: Minecraft. Similarly, the Smithsonian is also contributing to the game, with a new series of lesson plans that utilize Minecraft. As the Minecraft team explains, a recent writing competition put together with Roald Dahl Estate produced a winning story known as Fluffletopolis, which is now available as a Minecraft build. Smithsonian is also working to create lessons within Minecraft meant to "stimulate STEM activities".

The new Oregon Trail Experience inside Minecraft: Education Edition will let students take a trip across North America while learning about the "wonders and challenges that pioneers encountered on this famous journey", Houghton Mifflin Harcourt SVP Caroline Fraser said in a statement. The story that won - called Fluffletopolis - is now available as an explorable world in Minecraft.



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