Minecraft Innovation Team

African american boy looking at camera while building and learning to program robot vehicle at a stem robotics class. Science and education. Inventions and creativity for kids. Side view

ABOUT THIS SERIES:

Is your ADVANCED Minecraft player chomping at the bit to build cool creations on a private Bright & Quirky server? Students will be coached by two Microsoft Innovative Educators, who are also STEM teachers, who understand twice exceptional students. Your child will work cooperatively and collaboratively with other participants on the same Java Minecraft server in one-hour sessions in this 5-day camp. Each day they will test different build challenges and create unique mini-games to complete together. The innovation team is a fabulous way to make friends through shared interests, learn to work together and compromise, and give and receive feedback while increasing Minecraft skills.

We would consider your student advanced if they have the following skills:

  • Comfort with basic controls
  • Familiarity with basic building concepts in creative mode
  • Knowledge of rail and Minecart operations
  • Basic understanding of red stone

Generally, if students have played in Java for more than 15 hours, they should be able to handle most of the challenges.

WEEK 6: JULY 26-30

AGES: 8-16

TIME: 10:00am Seattle/ 1:00pm New York/ 6:00pm London (90 minutes)

PRICE: $45 per session billed as a 5-day camp

WEEK 7: AUGUST 2-6

AGES: 8-16

TIME: 1:00pm Seattle/ 4:00pm New York (90 minutes)

PRICE: $45 per session billed as a 5-day camp

WEEK 9: AUGUST 16-20

AGES: 8-16

TIME: 1:00pm Seattle/ 4:00pm New York (90 minutes)

PRICE: $45 per session billed as a 5-day camp

WEEK 2: JUNE 28-JULY 2

AGES: 8-16

TIME: 2:00pm Seattle/ 5:00pm New York/ 7:00am Sydney (90 minutes)

PRICE: $45 per session billed as a 5-day camp

INSTRUCTOR: Mark Henkels

Mark has been and continues to be a middle school math teacher for over 20 years in New York state. He's been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 5 years and a Minecraft Global Mentor for 2 years. He lives with his wife, middle school age daughter, and elementary age son in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.

INSTRUCTOR: Maina Gachugu

Maina has been teaching 6th grade for over six years in Kent, Washington. He has a passion for community involvement, so you can usually catch him helping out at after-school events. Maina runs an annual Minecraft Club using Minecraft: Education Edition for the last three years in Kent, focusing on collaborative play and Game-Based Learning. He also is a Professional Learning Specialist for Insight 2 Execution (i2e). Additionally, he is a Graduate student at the University of Washington's iSchool, working towards a Master's of Library and Information Science degree. Maina hopes to make gaming more prevalent in education as a mode of learning, not just entertainment. Maina lives with his partner and puppy in Seattle, loving learning, games, and the outdoors.

INSTRUCTOR: Justin Jager

Justin Jager is an online tutor, coding coach and actor, teaching students online, as well as at the Summer Institute for the Gifted. Justin graduated from University of Connecticut and has been playing Minecraft since he was young. He’s excited to bring his knowledge and passion to Bright & Quirky!

INSTRUCTOR: Owen Groener

As a student who has played Minecraft for over a decade, Owen has been enjoying his time very much at Bright & Quirky! He's passionate about exploring and showing off the wonderful talent and creativity of today’s youth through a safe platform. He enjoys getting to work with 2e kids and play his favorite game, all while stimulating abstract thinking and promoting creative exploration.

"I can't thank you enough for including my son in this group. It has helped him in so many ways. It provides him with positive social interaction and an opportunity to shine. Both of these things are in short supply and so very important."

— Parent of an Innovation Team Student