Microsoft and Code.org this week unveiled the Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, a coding tutorial for students and educators. It was created for Hour of Code, an annual campaign held during Computer Science Education Week in December.
The new web-based tutorial enables beginner coders to create and share their own Minecraft game and to empower anyone to begin learning the problem-solving and critical thinking skills required today.
“We are partnering with Code.org again this year to make computer science more accessible to millions of youth around the world with ‘Minecraft’ and Hour of Code,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “I am inspired by the ‘Minecraft’ generation who view themselves not as players of a game, but as creators of the new worlds they dream up.”
Created by Minecraft game designers at Mojang and Microsoft, in partnership with Code.org, the one-hour experience builds on the success of last year’s record-breaking Minecraft tutorial, which reached more than 30 million students worldwide.
“This is the generation that will imagine, build and create our future, and together we can equip them with the computational thinking and problem-solving skills to seize the opportunities ahead,” said Nadella.
The tutorial underscores Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring all young people have the opportunity to learn computer science, an economic and social imperative in this era of digital transformation, which is expected to generate 1.4 million computing jobs in the U.S. alone by 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the U.S., 40 percent of schools do not teach computer science.
Designed for ages 6 and up, the Minecraft Hour of Code Designer teaches students to create their own “Minecraft” experience where they can program the rules. Along the way, students use Code.org’s familiar drag-and-drop coding interface to learn computer science concepts such as object-oriented programming, event handlers and repeat loops. Players face a series of 12 challenges, culminating in creating their own simple game, which they can share with friends.
“Code.org was founded with the vision that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science—not only because it’s foundational for any career, but because students love it,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO, Code.org. “‘Minecraft’ is a special game that appeals to a diverse global community.”