More than 50 percent of jobs require technology skills, and in less than a decade that number will grow to 77 percent of jobs.1 Just 40% of schools have classes that teach programming and if you are a girl, black or Hispanic, or live in a rural community you are even less likely to have access.2
Minecraft and Microsoft are committed to helping close the STEM gap and expanding opportunities for students to learn computer science. For the fourth year, we are partnering with Code.org to support Hour of Code, a global movement demystifying computer science and making coding more accessible through one-hour tutorials and events. Hour of Code helps students get ‘Future Ready’ by connecting them with STEM learning experiences and career opportunities.
Today, we launched a new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, the Voyage Aquatic, which takes learners on an aquatic adventure to find treasure and solve puzzles with coding. Voyage Aquatic encourages students to think creatively, try different coding solutions and apply what they learn in mysterious Minecraft worlds.
Since 2015, learners around the world have completed nearly 100 million Minecraft Hour of Code sessions. The tutorials offer more than 50 puzzles, as well as professional development, facilitator guides and online training to help educators get started teaching computer science.
Dive into the Voyage Aquatic
Minecraft teamed up with four YouTube creators – AmyLee33, Netty Plays, iBallisticSquid and Tomohawk, with a cumulative following of more than five million – for this year’s Minecraft Hour of Code. These creative YouTubers guide participants along their journey through caves, ruins and underwater reefs to solve puzzles and learn coding concepts.
Voyage Aquatic presents 12 unique challenges, focusing on how to use loops and conditionals, two fundamental concepts in computer science. The tutorial also includes a ‘free play’ level for participants to apply what they learn in the prior puzzles and use coding to build imaginative underwater creations.
People of all ages and experience levels can use the Minecraft world to learn the basics of coding. The tutorial is free, open to anyone and available for any device. If your language is not available, you can help contribute to translation here.
Host an Hour of Code
Anyone can host an Hour of Code. Download a free facilitator’s guide to lead your own Minecraft Hour of Code at your school, library, museum, learning center or even at home.
Learn how to effectively facilitate an Hour of Code with this new Microsoft Education course for educators. Learn about the benefits of Hour of Code for your students, and where to find resources to lead an Hour of Code.
Let us know about your experience by posting on Facebook or Twitter and make sure to mention #HourofCode. Tag us @playcraftlearn!
Keep coding in Minecraft
You can continue your coding journey in Minecraft: Education Edition (or Minecraft on Windows 10) using Code Builder, a special feature that allows you to code in Minecraft.
Visit education.minecraft.net/cs for trainings, lessons and classroom activities to go beyond Hour of Code with your students.
If you already have a license for Minecraft: Education Edition, click this link to launch a special Voyage Aquatic world in Minecraft. Use code to fill an aquarium with marine life.
If you are not licensed, you can download a free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows 10, macOS and iPad by visiting aka.ms/download.
Save the date: Computer Science Education Week, December 3-9
Attend an event: Join an Hour of Code or STEM workshop at a Microsoft Store near you. Sign up at microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/events-for-educators.
Connect coding to careers with Skype in the Classroom: Sign up for free 30-minute Skype in the Classroom broadcasts and live Q&A with professionals who use code to create amazing things, including two Minecraft game designers! Happening December 3-7, introduce your students to nine inspiring ‘Code Creators’ in the worlds of dance, fashion, gaming, animation and artificial intelligence in a series brought to you by Microsoft and Code.org. Get your questions ready as we explore code-powered creativity. Register for free at aka.ms/codecreators.
Learn how to bring CS to your school: Microsoft is helping close the skills gap for all youth by increasing access to equitable computer science education. Discover resources at www.microsoft.com/digital-skills.
1 The Future of Jobs Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, January 2016.
2 Pioneering Results in the Blueprint of U.S. K-12 Computer Science Education, Google Gallup poll, 2016.
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Read more: educationblog.microsoft.com