Quantum Physics (qCraft)
Why Do We Want to Teach Quantum Physics to Kids?
There’s a revolution coming in computing and communications. Quantum Physics, the branch of physics that deals with physical phenomena at subatomic scales, has the potential to radically alter the technology of computers and communications in the coming decades. Today’s computers are built with ‘classical’ bits that are either 1’s or 0’s. Scientists are working on scaling up quantum interactions to the macroscopic level, and so the next generation of computers may be built on quantum bits, or qubits, that can be both a 1 and a 0 at the same time. In theory, these computers will solve certain problems within minutes that would be impossible for current computers to solve.
Today's communication networks are built on light and radio waves. Scientist are working on networks built on the principal of quantum entaglement, which allows for faster than light transmission and hack-proof communications. These and other breakthroughs in quantum technology may lead to advances in space travel, medicine, weather forecasting and other areas that we haven’t conceived of yet. It is today’s generation of kids who will be the ones to research, build, and utilize these new technologies. In order to expose quantum mechanics to kids and encourage them to pursue it as a career path, we are meeting them where they choose to spend their time: in games and in particular, in Minecraft.
What is qCraft?
Minecraft is designed to be open ended and invites users to change and customize their gameplay with a vast array of modifications (or ‘mods’) created by fans. qCraft is such a mod. It brings several principles of quantum physics to the world of Minecraft. The mod is a fun way to experiment, build, and play while also introducing players to the fascinating and (in the context of the macro-world we inhabit) counterintuitive way that quantum entities interact. qCraft is not designed to be an accurate simulation of quantum physics, however it does provide several ‘analogies’ that illustrate how quantum behaviors are different from our everyday experience.
Reading Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats andmedia, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Writing Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Speaking & Listening Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Language Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary.
MS-ETS1 Engineering Design
MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.