Microsoft announced today that it has a new Minecraft coding tutorial aimed at young students and is hosting free coding workshops in Microsoft Stores around the world.
“Today marks the beginning of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek),” Microsoft corporate vice president Mary Snapp writes in a new post to the Microsoft on the Issues blog. “This annual initiative mobilizes educators, parents, nonprofits and the industry to inspire all young people to learn computer science and open the door to a promising future.”
During Computer Science Education Week, millions of students from around the world will try software coding for one hour, Microsoft says. And to support that effort, the software giant is two announcing two initiatives it hopes will help promote a career choice that many, simply, never consider: fewer than 3 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States are in the field of computer science, the firm says.
First, it has created a Minecraft coding tutorial with Code.org called theMinecraft Hour of Code Designer. Aimed at students and educators, this tutorial was specially designed for the Hour of Code.
“The tutorial allows players to create their own custom game experience, plugging together blocks of code to control the behaviors of sheep, zombies and other creatures,” Snapp explains. “It includes a set of 12 challenges, followed by free play time so users can create a game using the coding concepts they’ve just learned.”
Microsoft is hosting hundreds of free hands-on coding workshops in its retail stores around the world. And Microsoft is partnering with the California Academy of Sciences and KQED to host Hacking STEM activities where students can solve programming challenges.
“In an accessible format, they will learn more about earthquakes by building and coding a functional sensor-enabled seismograph – engineering, equipping and testing prototypes with the potential to help mitigate earthquake damage,” Snapp writes.
Get coding, folks.