If your kids have been playing the popular videogame "Minecraft" all summer, don't sweat. They may be on their way to becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg.
At any given moment, more than 998,000 people around the world are playing "Minecraft," the wildly addictive video game in which you can create your own virtual cubic universe by manipulating and stacking gravity-defying blocks. Kids and adults have become obsessed with the game, which Microsoft acquired for $2.5 billion from Swedish game developer Mojang in 2014. To date, more than 70 million copies have been sold.
Here's the good news: Parents and educators alike have discovered that this game is more than just a mindless activity that possesses kids. It is actually an innovative educational tool that inspires, educates and builds 21st-century skills that help children in school and in their future professions—especially in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), where interest is lagging.
To make learning more fun and to expose kids to STEM education at an early age, Zaniac—a national STEM enrichment franchise for kids K through 8th grade—has incorporated several "Minecraft" courses into its curriculum.