Educator Resource Guide

Game Overview

The Great Tech Story, the Computer History Museum’s world in Minecraft: Education Edition, inspires and empowers students from ages 8–16 to become engaged digital citizens. They will be inspired to make and user technology that impacts the world for the better. Students navigate the virtual museum to learn about the impact of computing technology and its relationship between the past, present, and future. Students can explore the artifacts on display and interact with non-player character (NPC) innovators and click links to “Learn more.”

Five of the NPCs invite students to teleport themselves to immersive experiences to learn hardware and software concepts, meet a startup team, debate ethics in tech, and see how technology is used in daily life.

After completing the five experiences, students engage in a build challenge that focuses on collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity, to build their capacity as active problem solvers and future innovators.

Build challenges are available on our website here.

Check back over time for new build challenges.

Suggestions for Classroom Facilitation

Educators may choose to facilitate The Great Tech Story in a variety of ways.

  • Assign students to explore the museum and the five immersive experiences either in a single lesson, or over the course of several lessons to align with classroom curriculum.
  • Assign students to complete a build challenge applying knowledge and skills gained exploring the museum and learning experiences.
    1. Build: Guide students to follow the build challenge prompt on the CHM Build Challenge web page.
    2. Record: Each student/team should record a video up to two minutes in length about their finished build. Students under 18 will need a parent, guardian, or educator to submit the recording. Video submissions should show the finished build with student narration to explain: what they built, why they built it, and how they integrated concepts from the immersive experiences and museum content.
    3. Submit: Complete the online form on the CHM Build Challenge web page to submit student recordings and feedback. Selected submissions may be shared on the CHM website.
  • Assign students to explore the museum and learn about the various artifacts in alignment with the classroom curriculum. Suggested assignments include:
    • Students explore the artifacts on display and select three that interest them. They can click the links to “Learn more” and research the artifact to discover the history and purpose of each, then write a short report or present their findings to the class.
    • Students interact with NPC innovators in the museum and select one that interests them. They can click the links to “Learn more” and research the person to discover their background, the technology they worked with and the impact it has had, then write a short report or present their findings to the class.
    • Educators guide students through the museum in large or small groups as a virtual field trip experience, then students can continue to explore independently.
    • Educators create a scavenger hunt of items from the complete list of artifacts for students to search for and learn about specific artifacts and/or innovators in the museum. Educators may choose to select artifacts and/or innovators that are relevant to the topics they are teaching in the classroom.

Immersive Experiences

Five NPCs located throughout the exhibits teleport students to immersive experiences to explore different topics related to computing and technology.

CHM Tour Guide

Location in exhibit: Relay

Teleports to: The Hardware Garage

Margaret Hamilton

Location in exhibit: Lunar Lander

Teleports to: The Software Lab


Location in exhibit: Palm Pilot

Teleports to: The Startup Workspace

Ethics TA

Location in exhibit: Self-driving Car

Teleports to: The Ethics Forum

Tech User

Location in exhibit: Texting

Teleports to: The Impact House

Learn more about what students will encounter in the immersive experiences. 

The Hardware Garage

In this experience, students will meet historic technology innovators and learn about some of the key hardware components of computers.

Learning Objectives:

Learn about basics of hardware—internal and external.

Engage with interactives and content to explore concepts of: relays and switches; AND/OR logic gates; components of a computer; microchips and Moore’s law; networking.

The Software Lab

In this experience, students will meet historic technology innovators and learn about some of the key concepts of computer software.

Learning Objectives

Learn that software is a set of instructions or code that a machine or computer can process to perform a function.

Learn what code and algorithms are and where they came from.

Engage with interactives to explore concepts of: automation; punched cards; stored programs; branching; computer languages and compilers.

The Startup Workspace

In this experience, students will meet a team of five NPCs discussing “Project X.” In the team’s workspace, students engage with each NPC to learn about their roles and responsibilities in the startup company, the challenges they face in the engineering design process, and the tech innovator’s journey.

Learning Objectives

Explore and understand the engineering design process and the journey of an idea from a prototype to a product.

Learn about ways that new ideas and companies get funded.

Understand how team members collaborate and contribute unique perspectives in the development of a product.

The Ethics Forum

In this experience, students will meet a team of five NPCs discussing important issues and values that are important to consider when technology is designed, built, used or reimagined.

Learning Objectives

Learn to think critically when building and using technology.

Explore concepts of transparency, privacy, access, intentions, and diversity.

The Impact House

In this experience, students will meet a family of six, including a grandmother, mother, father, and three kids. Each character shares something about the technology they are using in their daily life.

Learning Objectives

Learn and think critically about the intersection and impact of technology with real people and the world.

Consider how technology can assist people with different abilities and needs.

Standards Alignment

The Great Tech Story and its accompanying build challenges align with ISTE and CSTA standards. Facilitated by educators, students will explore technology through a variety of lenses and practice skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication.


2-IC-20: Compare tradeoffs associated with computing technologies that affect people’s everyday activities and career options.

2-IC-21: Discuss issues of bias and accessibility in the design of existing technologies.

3B-CS-02: Illustrate ways computing systems implement logic, input, and output through hardware components.


1e (Computational Thinking): Recognize how computing and society interact to create opportunities, inequities, responsibilities and threats for individuals and organizations.

4b (Computational Thinking): Design authentic learning activities that ask students to leverage a design process to solve problems with awareness of technical and human constraints and defend their design choices.

4c (Computational Thinking): Guide students on the importance of diverse perspectives and human-centered design in developing computational artifacts with broad accessibility and usability.

6c: Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

Supplemental Resources

Learn more about some of the game’s non-player characters, or NPCs (webpage).

A glossary of terms used in the game. Download Vocabulary List (PDF).

A guide to all artifacts in the game. Download the Artifact List(PDF).

Download this Educator Resource Guide (PDF).

Download the Student Resource Guide (PDF).



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