‘The Great Tech Story’ Prepares Technology Citizens at the Computer History Museum

30 Nov 2021 Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, California, offers a collection of robots, computers, and software to help preserve the history of computational technology and document the efforts of pioneers in computing. The Museum recently created a Minecraft: Education Edition world called ‘The Great Tech Story' to  help teachers prepare students aged 8-16 to become knowledgeable and ethical users and builders of technology. In collaboration with Microsoft, veteran world builders ReWrite Media along with CHM curators and museum educators mined the Museum’s collections for fun objects, diverse and interesting people, and provocative ideas.

Early gaming consoles in the virtual exhibit.

Caption: Early gaming consoles in the virtual exhibit.

Exploring the Past, Building the Future

To learn about how we got where we are today, students navigate through a virtual museum exhibit on the history of computing. They will engage with artifacts like the 2000-year-old Antikythera mechanism—the oldest known scientific calculator—the Apollo lunar lander, handheld precursors of the smartphone, and a self-driving car. They’ll meet historic figures and living computing pioneers as well as a diverse group of tech users and innovators, engineers, and young entrepreneurs.

Students also have the opportunity to be teleported from the exhibit to five immersive learning experiences:

  • The Hardware Garage, where students learn the basics of how computing technologies work.
  • The Software Lab, where students engage with programming concepts.
  • The Startup Workspace, where students meet a startup team developing a new technology.
  • The Ethics Forum, where students meet a diverse group of non-player characters who debate values and issues to consider in designing technology.
  • The Impact House, where students meet a family using technology in daily life, including a non-player character with a wheelchair.
The Innovator’s Workroom, with computer workstations, a startup team, and a lava lamp!

Caption: The Innovator’s Workroom, with computer workstations, a startup team, and a lava lamp!

When they’ve completed the learning experiences, the Museum opens for students to explore on their own, pursuing their interests and satisfying their curiosity.

New challenges and teacher resources to enhance learning are available for free on the CHM website. CHM’s Minecraft program aligns with the ISTE and CSTA standards and integrates skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication. The first challenge: Save Your Energy! Building Sustainable Technology.

Technology Is For Everyone

The Great Tech Story experience in Minecraft: Education Edition empowers students to become informed technology citizens and inspires them to use technology to solve real-world problems for themselves, their communities, and the world.

Let’s help students learn how to create a future where technology serves humanity!