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Science & Nature

Zoology Course in Minecraft: Exploring the Animal Kingdom (8-Session)

Unravel the science behind the evolution of animals and how all species influence each other through the creation of a Minecraft zoo (Minecraft Java Edition for PC / Mac Only. NO iPad or Tablet).
Connected Camps
3962 total reviews for this teacher
23 reviews for this class
Completed by 95 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
US Grade Level
learners per class


Charged upfront
$20 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 8 weeks
90 minutes per class
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Not an official Minecraft product. Not approved or associated with Mojang.


Class Experience

— Day 1 - Ecosystems: Our primary goal for this day is to assist students in setting up Minecraft and to familiarize kids to our course’s objectives. Before diving into the world of the animals, we must first learn about its habitats. In this session, students will learn about what parts make up an ecosystem and start their build of a Minecraft Zoo with ecosystem exhibits.

— Day 2 - Evolution: What is evolution and how does it impact life's diversity? This day will consist of learning about evolution and the history of evolution theory! We will go into detail about what evolution is, why it happens and the influences humans have had on it. Students will then build an environment that suits a specific animal's survival needs.

— Day 3 - Genetics: Students will get to discover how genetics are passed down and how these physical traits help with survival. Using the Minecraft breeding system, the class will get to experiment with breeding animals to pass down favorable traits.

— Day 4 - Sustainability & Human Impact: As humans, we have an effect on the ecosystem and in order to maintain it, we must practice sustainability. Students will get a chance to try building the most sustainable shop that they can for the zoo and sustainability exhibits to inform zoo-goers of human impact and what we can do to help our environment.

— Day 5 - Domestic Animals: What are traits that make an animal good for domestication? In this session, students will learn more about how domesticated animals came to be before working on a petting zoo enclosure for one of those animals.

— Day 6 - Wild Animals: What makes an animal wild? In this session, students will take a closer look at how wild animals are different from domesticated ones before working on an Animal Kingdom Tour for the zoo exhibiting different wild animals.

— Day 7 - Aquatic Animals: Students will learn the main differences between aquatic animals and terrestrial animals as well as the ecosystems they come from. Similar to the past few sessions, they will then work together on enclosures fitting for different aquatic animals.

— Day 8 - A Fictional Mob: Combining all that they've learned, each student will pick a fictional Minecraft mob and come up with the traits and ecosystem they will live in. They will then build the exhibits for these mobs to complete the zoo!
Connected Camps is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2015 with the mission to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn alongside one another. Our programs are designed based on extensive research in the learning sciences. The founders and leaders of Connected Camps, Mimi Ito and Katie Salen, are professors at the University of California, Irvine, who specialize in the design of online learning experiences that are fun, social, and directly tied to academic outcomes. Learn more about the research behind Connected Camps at the Connected Learning Alliance resource site: https://clalliance.org/ 

One thing that makes our programs unique is our near-peer mentorship model. Our programs are led by young adults and college students, often with the help of high school volunteers. We hire counselors and coaches from top universities in computer science, game development, economics, social studies, and the arts, and train them on how to facilitate project-based learning with younger kids. Our young instructors have the same passion for technology, games, and digital making as our learners, and take on the role of instructors, as well as fellow enthusiasts and relatable role models.

The curriculum for this program was designed by a team of counselors pursuing degrees relevant to the material at hand. The learning experiences in this class are driven by these counselors’ academic expertise in the field, along with their desire to share their passion for the subject with a group of excited learners. All of Connected Camps’ curricula are vetted by the organization’s Product Manager, Matthew, who possesses a Masters in Secondary Education and a deep belief in the power of collaborative virtual learning.
This class does not require any out-of-class work although we do have optional challenges we provide as an extension of what is taught in class. We provide guidance and instructions for students who are inspired to delve deeper into the topic. The purpose of these challenges is to encourage self-motivated students to supplement their learning with additional material that aligns with their passions and goals. Students may then integrate their learnings into their project and showcase their accomplishments to their classmates.

With this approach, students who are very excited about their learning can explore the subject on their own. We find students are motivated when they get to celebrate and share what they’ve explored independently with the class.
A Minecraft Java Edition account must be purchased by the learner. Participants will receive access to the Connected Camps Minecraft Server where the program will be run. To access the server, each learner will need the Java edition of Minecraft and will need to set their version release to 1.15.2. Other Minecraft versions like the "Minecraft for Windows 10 version", console editions, and pocket editions for mobile devices will not work for this course. A pair of headphones and microphone are also needed for communication with the class.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
At Connected Camps, we assess each student’s progress by engaging them in reflection of their own work and the work of their classmates. By building in Minecraft and applying concepts taught in class, our students are able to solidify their learnings through hands-on application. Our counselors’ focus is to provide qualitative feedback to further each students’ individual goals and interests, and we do not use letter or number grades.

In addition to our in-class reflections, our counselors also provide post-session recaps that offer a summary of what is accomplished each day. Through these summary reflections, students are able to review the material and share with their parents what they did in class. We find this approach allows kids of different interests and abilities to engage with our teachings in a way that is particularly relevant to them.
1 hour 30 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
Some of the topics we cover in this program do not fit all points of views of our learners and parents. Our programs are secular and this course incorporates science-based information in its curriculum. Students in this class will participate in discussions and activities that revolve around the nature of evolution, genetics, and sustainability.


Internet safety is a top priority for us and our goal is to create a safe, connected community of learners that is moderated by our instructors. Throughout our programs we strive to educate our learners on internet safety and best practices for connecting online.

In our programs, our learners are often making friendships and connections with others in class. While we encourage positive online friendships, we think it’s important to practice these principles of internet safety:

— Do NOT ask others to connect online outside of our programs without first confirming with your parents. Our programs are a safe, moderated space for learners to engage but we can’t moderate connections outside of our classes.
— Do NOT give away personal information which includes but is not limited to: your name, address, phone number, passwords, location, email address, and parental information.
— If an individual asks for personal information, you should inform a counselor or your parent for guidance.


Common Sense Media Resources for Parents:

Keeping Games Fun and Friendly: learn how to keep your child's experiences positive and fun when communicating in online games with others.

The Power of Words: help your child learn that words exchanged online are indeed powerful, and offer strategies to use when confronted with cyberbullying.

Private and Personal Information: learn the difference between what personal things your child can safely share online and private information that should not be shared.

Offered by

Connected CampsLearning Together Online
3962 total reviews
2807 completed classes

About Us

Connected Camps is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2015 with the mission to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn from one another. Our programs are designed based on the extensive research in the... 
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