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Mining with the Agent: Part II

6-7 yrs old

8-10 yrs old

Climate & Environment

Computer Science

Geography

Adds the concept of staircase mining to the lesson of Part I. Now we automate more sophisticated mining techniques!

avatar Submitted By: Philip Golden

June 14, 2018

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Mining Tutorial on Minecraft Wiki

Excellent general description of mining techniques. Sections 1, 2, 4 are great background reading for the lesson

Survival Island World (ideal for mining)

This mcworld is an ideal setting for the project

Student handout with graph and code

It can be useful to talk through the code with students as they are implementing it

Example Makecode Implementation

Shows additional tp and turnLeft functions that are very useful

Learning Objectives

  • Data Interpretation: Using the graph on the handout, student's determine what levels they wish to mine at. Simple interpretations of the graph allow student's to say 'x is found at level y', however more detailed consideration can give an idea of the relative likelihood of finding different materials
  • Understanding loops in coding: In a similar manner to the lesson of Part I, parameterized loops are used to create shafts
  • Understanding functions: Both staircase and spiral shafts are made up of steps, and the step code is thus implemented as a function that is called by either command. This is a nice example of the utility of functions that has a clear physical representation to enhance student comprehension
  • Strategic planning: Tradeoffs exist between mining at different levels at different stages. Careful planning of the use of materials can give significant rewards
  • Creativity: This project gives significant scope for creative decision making and the end results should be highly individualised

Guiding Ideas

  • Carefully plan a strategy for the shaft - Using either staircase or spiral mining, we now no longer needs the ladders from part I. Consider the tradeoffs between a simple staircase and a spiral staircase (use https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Mining for reference). Consider the concept of a spiral staircase in general and where else it might be useful
  • Carefully plan a strategy for the mining - Although we no longer need the ladders that the vertical shafts from Part I required, we still do need light sources to go to any significant depth. Again consider the best strategy for obtaining the materials required to create light sources
  • Consider the mining route - the code will make the agent mine in a straight line, but is this the best thing to do? Typically ores are grouped together. Is there a pattern that would be efficient to find rare blocks?

Student Activities

  • Optionally read sections 1, 2 & 4 of https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Mining
  • Initially the world is always day. Use this to implement the code for the agent from the handout , this time including the 'step' function and the 'staircase' and 'spiral' commands
  • Have the agent create a shaft of suitable depth
  • Right clicking the agent shows you what has been collected. Key first goal is to get torches, by either mining coal directly or creating charcoal from a furnace (cobblestone)
  • Decide how to proceed mining and what can be crafted from mined materials
  • Extension 1: Turn back on the day night cycle and create a simple house around the bed. Now it may also be advantageous to craft weapons and armour
  • Extension 2: Consider creating an underground 'base' with a crafting table etc. to remove the need to continually return to the surface
  • Extension 3: Could it be useful to create a diagram of how we are mining? Have a look at the 'branch mining' examples on https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Mining

Performance Expectations

  • Students should be able to interpret the graph on the handout and verbalise at least a basic strategy for mining
  • This strategy should evolve as the project progresses and could encompass:
    • Stages of mining where the outcomes from previous stages (e.g. stone tools) enable new capabilities
    • Physical patterns for mining that are particularly efficient
  • Students should be able to discuss the concept of a spiral staircase and why its shape can be advantageous
  • Students should manipulate the code at least at the level of choosing different parameters for mining and shafts
  • Students should be able to explain whether how conditionality (i.e. only collect certain blocks) would be implemented and whether it is useful

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Mining Tutorial on Minecraft Wiki

Excellent general description of mining techniques. Sections 1, 2, 4 are great background reading for the lesson

Survival Island World (ideal for mining)

This mcworld is an ideal setting for the project

Student handout with graph and code

It can be useful to talk through the code with students as they are implementing it

Example Makecode Implementation

Shows additional tp and turnLeft functions that are very useful