Earth science instructor builds rock game inspired by Minecraft

Laurentian University’s geology instructor has created a new game inspired by the popular video game minecraft,

Tobias Roth likes to take a hands-on approach to teaching, so he designed this Minecraft-inspired rock identification game to do exactly what its name suggests.

Players can handle various minerals – all are available minecraft – and they have to be recognized. If the players get stumped, there are some cards with clues to help them.

“Nowadays many children have played minecraftRoth said.

“They know how to make tools minecraft to make them alive. And we do that in society, don’t we? We actually mine minerals to make the things we need in our daily lives.”

Roth said he came up with the idea for the game when he was out with some kids to teach them about geology.

A man is holding a box in one hand and a display with some minerals in the other.
Tobias Roth, an instructor at Laurentian University’s Herquelle School of Earth Sciences, created a game where players identify different rocks and minerals. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

“They really wanted to find iron ore, so I showed them a little bit of what iron would look like in a rock,” he said.

because the children had all played minecraftThey also wanted to smelt the ore and make things out of it, just like they do in the game.

Roth knew he had a captive audience and then began working on his game to inspire future geologists.

“Many careers are actually dealing with rocks and minerals and we want to encourage students to become geologists because it’s a great career path where you earn while you learn, you pay for tuition from your summer jobs.” are,” he said.

And now Laurentian’s Harquelle School of Earth Sciences has partnered with the Greater Sudbury Public Library to make the game available at each of its 13 locations.

People can borrow games from branches of the Greater Sudbury Public Library and play there. They can’t take it home because some of the minerals in the game are quite rare, Roth said.

“The Greater Sudbury area is defined by rich mineral deposits, so this partnership aims to provide an educational resource about the rocks beneath our feet,” Chantal McRae, Child and Youth Programmer for the Greater Sudbury Public Library, said in a press release. What a wonderful way.”

Roth said he now plans to create a second version of the game with different rocks and minerals.

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