The annual Hour of Code is entering its fourth year next month, and Microsoft is adding something for 2017 that your little Minecraft lovers will surely go nuts over. Whether your family is new to this free international mass coding phenomenon or you've explored it before, the 2017 campaign has new and exciting features for everyone—including coding projects about Moana, Star Wars, and Minecraft.
For the uninitiated, the Hour of Code is a grassroots campaign established by non-profit Code.org to demonstrate that all ages can learn coding and the basics of computer science. It’s held annually during Computer Science Education Week, which this year falls December 4-10, 2017. (Fun fact: The date is chosen in honor of computing pioneer and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, whose birthday is on December 9.)
As in years past, companies and communities around the world will hold events that offer coding tutorials; Microsoft and Apple, for example, are both holding free classes in their stores (be sure to sign up in advance).
Also, as in years past, one of the free coding tutorials offered by Microsoft is a Minecraft tutorial, allowing kids to complete puzzles using drag-and-drop block coding with Steve and friends. (This year’s new tutorial is called “Hero’s Journey.”) For the first time, the company is also enabling users to upload the tutorial using Code Builder to Minecraft: Education Edition on a Windows 10 computer. This means that kids can bring all of the things they learned “to life” in Minecraft!
Kids can share their Minecraft accomplishments with other crafters.
Young coders can also show and share what they learned with other kid coders via email, texting, or social media. The tutorial is geared toward second graders and older, but we know some younger crafters who would also enjoy it.
There were more than 43,000 events held in the US for the 2016 Hour of Code, according to Code.org, which says that at least 10 percent of all students in the world have done an Hour of Code. If there aren’t any events occurring in your area—or if, more likely, they’re all full—now you can participate at home in an even more interactive way.
Looking for more STEM-friendly fun in your area? Sign up for our newsletters!
All images courtesy of Microsoft.