aquarium-554x368.png

Aquarium

11-13 yrs old

Computer Science

Science

Students use code to create a model of the nitrogen cycle.

avatar Submitted By: John Miller

October 29, 2018

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

Supporting Files

World File


World file for student use

Learning Objectives

  • Students will master the fill command
  • Students will learn how to recognize and understand the world coordinate system
  • Students will learn how to run a sequence of individual chat commands as one
  • Students will develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. (NGSS MS-L-S2-3)

Guiding Ideas

The nitrogen cycle demonstrates how nitrogen enters a system (like a fish tank) and is recycled in stages

Individual chat commands can be run in a sequence

The Minecraft coordinate system is a 3-D representation of any block location in any world.

Student Activities

This activity is best completed with pairs of students or small groups.

Students will build and stock an aquarium with items and blocks to demonstrate their understanding of the nitrogen cycle.

Each of seven commands will be added and tested one at a time to the on chat “master” command. To see an example of nested run chat commands click HERE.

Students build their aquarium on top of the bedrock foundation and need to understand the world coordinate system. Each block in Minecraft has a location identified by 3 coordinates.

Standing on top of the bedrock block in one corner will give the coordinates 1861 66 10. Moving to the opposite corner and up 10 blocks gives the coordinates 1840 76 -6.

Step 1 – Students prepare eight, on chat commands. Label each block in this order:

  • tank
  • glass
  • air
  • gravel
  • sand
  • water
  • fish
  • undo

Step 2 – Build the fish tank using the “glass” chat command block. Wrap the block around a blocks fill with command. Students need to replace the relative position coordinates (indicated by the ~) to world location found under the position tab.

  • fill with (glass)
  • from world 1861 66 10
  • to 1840 76 -6
  • [hollow]

This creates a hollow glass cuboid from one corner of the slab to the other.

If successful, have students make a copy of this command, changing the name to “undo” and replacing the glass block with an air block. If a mistake is made, they can issue the undo command to remove all blocks and start over.

Step 3 – Replace the top layer of the tank with air by running the following code:

  • fill with (air)
  • from world 1861 76 10
  • to 1840 77 -6
  • [replace]

Step 4 – Place a layer of gravel on the bottom using the same code as in step 3, but adjusting the coordinates.

Step 5 – Same as step 4 above, adjusting the coordinates up one block and filling with sand. Add carbon into the system by attaching a blocks replace with command:

  • replace with (bone)
  • when block is (sand)
  • from world (enter coordinates of a 3 or 4 square block location within the sand layer)
  • to world (coordinates)

Step 6 – Add water with same fill command found in step 3, but coordinates need to be adjusted to account for the interior space.

Step 7 – Add fish using the Mobs spawn animal command. Select the fish of choice and set the world coordinates to the center of the tank. Place the spawn command within a loop repeat (x) times command, with x representing the number of fish to create. Wrap the “fish” chat command around the repeat command.

Last step – Students should now use the “undo” command to clear the space. Insert 6 player run chat commands within the tank command in the following order:

  • run chat command (glass)
  • run chat command (air)
  • run chat command (gravel)
  • run chat command (sand)
  • run chat command (water)
  • run chat command (fish)

Run the “tank” command and the entire aquarium should appear in front of the student. They can add features like sea grass and kelp to complete their aquarium and to demonstrate their understanding of the nitrogen cycle.

Performance Expectations

Students will master the fill command

Students will be able to explain the three-dimensional coordinate system

Students will create a model of the nitrogen cycle

Students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How are fish important to the nitrogen cycle?
  • Where is decomposing material found in an aquarium?
  • What is the role of plants in the nitrogen cycle?
  • What could you use to represent food in your aquarium?
  • How can you use code to create an “undo” command?
  • How else might wrapping a single on chat command around multiple run chat commands be useful?

 

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Supporting Files

World File


World file for student use