Minecraf U Blog
By Solomon Pierce aka RCI
Former Student and Current Instructor
My 12-year-old self was instantly interested when I found out that there was a Minecraft U summer camp at Hockaday. At that time, I had been playing minecraft for a year or two and already loved the game.
While playing Minecraft, I was completely unaware of all of the practical experience I was gaining with problem-solving, working with computers, typing, architecture and design, teamwork, and much more. I hadn’t considered that Minecraft could be used as such a powerful teaching tool for complex things like computer science and coding.
Minecraft U quickly became my favorite part of camp each day and I was eager to master each level of the curriculum and move up to the most challenging projects. I went from having no programming experience whatsoever to making my own programs in Lua, and my own Minecraft mods in Java. I returned to camp each year to continue learning and having fun with Minecraft.
As I was mastering the highest level of Minecraft U curriculum that existed at the time, I was also shifting into a teaching role, by helping out the other campers when the instructors were busy with another student. After a couple of years I was old enough to become a Counselor in Training at Hockaday, which taught me a lot about working with kids and teaching, valuable experience that I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life. After that year I was finally old enough to be a real Hockaday summer camp counselor and I got my first job ever at 15 years old.
As a Minecraft U instructor, I continued to practice my programming and teaching skills, which has made me very confident and excited about furthering my studies in computer science and programming when I go to college a year from now. This is my third year back as an instructor, and I’m very glad we are able to offer online camps this year, despite the pandemic, and to be a part of the Minecraft U team once again.