Microsoft Partners with Code.org to Celebrate Computer Science Education Week by Offering a Minecraft-Inspired Coding Tutorial

Tutorial Will Inspire Students to Learn Computer Science Skills
Audio: 
Lori Harnick, General Manager, Microsoft Citizenship & Public Affairs

(Redmond, WA, Monday, December 7, 2015) - To the community of 100 million players around the world, Minecraft represents many things - creativity, strategy, collaboration and survival, just to name a few. What many may not realize is that Minecraft has the power to transform learning on a global scale. By creating a virtual world and then advancing in it, students can learn digital citizenship, empathy, social skills and even improve their literacy - while getting real time feedback on their problem solving skills from the teacher. In fact, more than 7,000 teachers around the world are already using Minecraft in the classroom.

Building on this natural use of Minecraft in the classroom, Microsoft is partnering with Code.org, to bring a Minecraft-inspired coding tutorial to students and educators, created especially for Hour of Code, an annual, global campaign held during Computer Science Education Week, December, 7-13. The new tutorial - now available at http://code.org/mc - introduces players to basic coding within the fun and familiar environment. Created by Minecraft game designers, the tutorial includes characters and challenges inspired by the game developed by Mojang and familiar to players around the world.

As technology has become an integral part of people's daily lives around the world, we're seeing a growing demand -- from students, parents, teachers, governments, and nonprofits -- to teach youth not only how to use technology, but also how to create technology to help them become the innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity in their communities. Learning computer science builds critical skills like computational thinking and problem solving that strengthen abilities in any industry and any sector.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently announced a $75M commitment in community programs via the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative to increase access to computer science education for all youth, especially for those from under-represented backgrounds, and to build greater diversity into the tech talent pipeline. Today's announcement with Code.org further underscores that commitment. Our partnership with Code.org and our involvement in the Hour of Code is a key effort to inspire students to become interested in computer science.

More information, resources and the Minecraft tutorial can be found at Microsoft.com/hourofcode, or attend a live Hour of Code workshop at any Microsoft store. Anyone can volunteer to lead a coding workshop, or if you want to advocate for more computer science education in our schools you can add your voice to the thousands that are already calling for it.

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