Chm Blog Education

The Great Tech Story

By CHM Editorial | December 02, 2021

Join us in our virtual world and start playing!

Technology has the power to transform our world… for better or worse. Can we help students learn how to create a future where technology serves humanity? We think so!

“The Great Tech Story,” is CHM’s new experience on the Minecraft: Education Edition game platform used by educators in classrooms around the world to deliver educational content to students in a fun and engaging way.

The Great Tech Story includes a virtual exhibit to explore, immersive learning areas, and a problem-solving challenge. It empowers students ages 8–18 to become informed technology citizens and inspires them to use technology to solve real-world problems.

In collaboration with Microsoft and veteran world builders ReWrite Media, CHM curators and museum educators mined (pun intended!) the collection for fun and instructive artifacts, diverse and interesting people, and provocative ideas. If you’ve been to the museum in person, you’ll recognize many of the artifacts in their virtual form.

Early game consoles in the exhibit.

Exploring the Past

How did computing in the past evolve into what we experience today? Who were the great pioneers and what were the innovations that shaped our digital age?

To explore these questions, students navigate through a virtual CHM museum exhibit on the history of computing. They will engage with artifacts like the 2000-year-old Antikythera mechanism—the oldest known scientific calculator—the Apollo lunar lander, iconic computers like the PDP-1 and the Cray-1, handheld precursors of the smartphone, and a self-driving car. They’ll meet historic figures, like Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing, and living computing pioneers, such as Margaret Hamilton, who wrote code to land men on the moon, and Lynn Conway, who broke barriers and developed new methods of integrated circuit design. They’ll also be introduced to a diverse group of tech users and innovators, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Check out the full list of non-player characters in the game who are based on real people.

From inside the exhibit, students can be teleported to five immersive experiences:

  • The Hardware Garage, to learn about fundamental computing concepts like relays and switches.
  • The Software Lab, to engage with programming concepts like computing languages and compilers.
  • The Startup Workspace, to meet a team of entrepreneurs developing a new technology.
  • The Ethics Forum, to meet a diverse group of non-player characters who debate values and issues to consider when designing and using technology.
  • The Impact House, to meet a family with diverse abilities using different kinds of technology in daily life.

The Startup Workspace, with computer workstations, a startup team, and a lava lamp!

Building the Future

When they’ve completed the immersive experiences, students collaborate on applying what they’ve learned to tackle a real-world problem by designing a solution as part of a Minecraft build challenge. They’ll consider how they can use technology to make a difference and help their communities or the world. We’ll be adding new challenges throughout the year, starting with: Save Your Energy! Building Sustainable Technology.

The Great Tech Story is one element of a multi-dimensional partnership with Microsoft that is advancing CHM’s transformation into a leading 21st century museum. It's an exciting part of the expansion of CHM’s education programs into digital experiences that engage and empower a global community of technology citizens.

Join us in our virtual world and start playing now!

About The Author

CHM Editorial consists of editors, curators, writers, educators, archivists, media producers, researchers, and web designers, looking to bring CHM audiences the best in technology and Museum news.

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