MinecraftEDU Letter from NEF National Director

To: NEF STEM+ Academy Directors

From: Dr. Anthony Betrus, Professor at SUNY Potsdam & National Director of STEM+ Academies

NEF STEM+ Academy Directors,

Thank you for your interest in the NEF Minecraft Initiative. Minecraft is a great tool to both teach and motivate your students. It has cross-gender appeal, and the digital literacy skills it engenders are foundational to student success. As such, we strongly encourage you to consider using Minecraft in your school, both as a teaching and learning tool, and as a motivational tool.

The rules and policies you have for how students interact on your server are your own. We encourage you to work with your students to come up with a code of conduct for interacting in the world, and treat it as a privilege. Digital Citizenship is an important skill for your students to learn, one that can be helped along by their interactions in the Minecraft world. Once students gain access, you can decide if you want to limit their access to in-school or both in-school and out-of-school. Again, this is up to you and your students.

We encourage you to take a look at the resources, links, and testimonials at http://MinecraftEDU.com, to give you a better idea of how teachers are using the software. In general, we encourage you not to over prescribe what the students do, but use it for what is does best, and that is provide an open-ended building environments where students can explore and create. We do encourage you to have students reflect and document what they do, and we even have a contest to encourage students to document their STEM journeys.


Sidney Public Schools

The Sidney Public School District (Cheyenne County School District #1) is a state and NCA-accredited public school system located in the Nebraska Panhandle 100 miles east of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The District consists of 120 square miles including and surrounding the city of Sidney, the Cheyenne County seat with a population of 6500 people.

The District educates approximately 1200 students in grades K-12 at seven separate campuses: South Elementary (grades K-1), North Elementary (grades 2-3), Central Elementary (grade 4), West Elementary (grades 5-6), Sidney Middle School (grades 7-8), Sidney High School (grades 9-12), and the Alternative Education Center. In-town busing services are provided with stops at each of the campuses.

N. L. Dillard Middle School

N.L. Dillard Middle School will provide students with an academically rich environment that focuses on character education and student achievement, thus preparing them to be lifelong learners.

Maryland Academy of Technology & Health Sciences

The Maryland Academy of Technology & Health Sciences (MATHS), is a Baltimore City public charter school serving students in grades 6 -12. MATHS is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) focused school offering specialized pathways for students interested in these career areas.