Imagine a world where you create the rules. You can make chickens moo instead of cluck, zombies flee instead of chase. You can even get sheep to drop gold instead of wool.
Now, you can build your own virtual universe at this year’s Computer Science Education Week, held from December 5 to 11. It’ll just take an hour of your time!
The Computer Science Education Week is an annual campaign spearheaded by nonprofit Code.org, and supported by a multitude of personalities and tech companies—from Bill Gates to Amazon. During this week, hour-long events known as the Hour of Code are held worldwide to get millions of youth to try coding, raise awareness about the importance of computer science education, and increase access to it.
Last year, we teamed up with Code.org to bring Minecraft to the Hour of Code. Students were thrilled to traverse the blocky and colorful world many are familiar with while learning the basics of coding. Code.org has also added more Hour of Code tutorials—with popular characters such as BB-8, Elsa, and Moana making an appearance—to appeal to more students (and even adults!).
What can you expect at 2016 Hour of Code?
Firstly, we have a new Minecraft tutorial called the Minecraft Hour of Code Designer. This installment is all about creating your own world to explore, and defining character interactions with objects.
For instance, players can code the behavior of their Minecraft mobs—whether to have zombies attack creepers or sheep produce diamonds—and be introduced to computer science concepts such as entities, events, loops, randomness, and sequencing. With higher levels of complexity and more free play, the Designer edition promises to push creativity to the limit and add more excitement to the Hour of Code experience.
Watch the video below to learn more about Minecraft Hour of Code Designer:
We also have a slew of events happening throughout the entire Computer Science Education Week in Asia.
To date, more than 120 schools and organizations have registered for the Hour of Code. We are working closely with educators and government officials to extend our reach to more youth and increase the impact of our work in promoting computer science education. To further enhance the upcoming Hour of Code sessions, we are also providing presenters and facilitators with the training, information, and tools they need to effectively lead the events.
Here are some notable events happening across Asia:
India – Hour of Code at Tamana, Dec 8
Microsoft Philanthropies will be organizing an Hour of Code session at Tamana, a nonprofit that provides education for students with autism and other special education needs. It aims to give students with learning disabilities a chance to experience and learn basic coding principles in a comfortable environment.
Japan – Programming for All, Dec 11
Teachers, nonprofits, and government officials will gather to try their hand at the Hour of Code and the Minecraft Education Edition. They will also learn about best practices and case studies on how to successfully bring computer science education into classrooms. At the same time, Microsoft employees will be spread across 17 community centers, orphanages, and schools throughout the week, where they will conduct Hour of Code sessions for more than 900 children.
Singapore – We Tech Care, Dec 10
The one-day event, to be held at the Enabling Village, will provide a platform for people of all ages to learn coding. It will also help connect today’s innovators with tomorrow’s and raise awareness of technologies that help alleviate social issues, support digital inclusion programs and foster skill-based learning efforts.
Vietnam – Hour of Code at Microsoft Innovative School, Dec 8
This will be held at the Olympia School, Microsoft’s very first Microsoft Mentor school. More than 100 students will code together and at the same time, be connected with 100 other students from Vietnam-Australia International School to share the excitement of coding.
These events are just the tip of the iceberg for 2016 Hour of Code. Check in with your local community leader or neighborhood school to see if they are organizing their own Hour of Code sessions. You can even organize one of your own—it’s quick and easy! Otherwise, participate in the Hour of Code from the comfort of your own home.