Friday, October 2, 2015

Alums publish second book teaching kids to program inside of Minecraft

A second book on Minecraft modding by UC San Diego engineering and biochemistry Ph.D.s is hitting the bookshelves this fall."Modding Minecraft" is part of the "For Dummies" book series. It is currently exclusively available at Barnes and Noble for $9.99.

The three authors are Sarah Guthals and Stephen Foster, two computer science Ph.D.s, and Lindsey Handley, a biochemistry Ph.D. The trio co-founded ThoughtSTEM, a company that teaches computer programming to kids in elementary, middle and high school. The company created LearnToMod, a sofware that allows kids to learn programming inside of Minecraft.

Earlier this year, they co-authored "Minecraft Modding for Kids." This latest book is aimed at a slightly younger audience, Guthals said.

According to the book's online marketing materials:

The projects in this book teach your player how to modify the game by using code blocks to create mini games. The projects use LearntoMod (provided as a 60-day trial download with the book), a platform designed specifically to teach young students how to modify Minecraft.
Projects include:
* Create a Spleef Game — get started with a single-player, single-level game
* Build a Monster Arena — moves readers on to multi-level game playing
* Capture That Flag — finishes with a multi-level, multi-player game based on the classic capture the flag' game

This book is designed to appeal to readers as young as seven who are interested in learning more about the technology topics they hear about every day. It applies the time-tested For Dummies approach of simplifying complicated topics with a light-hearted and non-intimidating tone and presents the information in a way that appeals to young readers. All three books in the series, Making YouTube Videos, Getting Started with Coding, and Modding Minecraft feature:

* A kid-friendly, expert-approved design - heavy on eye-popping graphics and filled with easy-to-follow steps to completing a project.
* The perfect-size, full-color, book gets your young coder up and coding with a proven mix of graphics and text instruction.
* Fun, basic projects that provide the building blocks (and excitement) for further computer/tech exploration.

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