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Microsoft Store empowers students with free Computer Science Education Week workshops

Written By published December 9, 2019

Students at a Microsoft Store

One hundred and thirteen years ago in New York, a girl was born into a generation where the average woman was more likely to perfect a signature pie recipe than solve a pi-based equation. Pushing against expectations, this girl became one of the pre-eminent technologists of our times and made it possible to convert human language into machine code understood by computers. On Dec. 9, the anniversary of Admiral Grace Hopper’s birthday kicks off Computer Science Education Week, an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science.

As technology such as AI and cloud computing rapidly transforms the future of work, it’s more important than ever for students and educators to develop STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—skills. It’s estimated that over 85 million jobs worldwide will go unfilled by 2030 if we don’t bridge the STEM skills gap—but schools often struggle to implement quality STEM curriculum and prepare students for career paths that are just starting to come into focus.

Inspire students to ignite a passion for Computer Science

Microsoft Stores are committed to empowering students and educators with computer science resources and will host over 400 events in partnership with STEM influencers throughout Computer Science Education Week across locations. Ensuring no one is left behind when it comes to developing increasingly crucial computer science skills, programming this year has an increased focus on inclusion for traditionally underrepresented students.

Microsoft Store workshops will offer hands-on learning centered around coding, game design, app development and more using technologies from Windows, Surface, Office 365, Minecraft and more. Participants will hear from a diverse group of mentors and organizations from across the STEM field, including Lynell Caldwell, NASA, Brandon Copeland, Black Girls Code, Al Smith, Curtis Baham, Lee Woodall, Dennis Brown and Titus O’Neil.

Students at a Microsoft Store

Check your local Microsoft Store to register for exciting workshops geared toward empowering every learner, including workshops like;

  • Latina Girls in Gaming with MakeCode Arcade: Learn basic block coding and create video games with Gabriela Ponce, producer with Turn 10 Studios and advocate for helping the Latinx community succeed in the gaming industry. Gaby will share more about her journey combining her passions for art, culture and technology, and empower Latina girls to embrace STEM skills.
  • All Kids Code with Tynker Space Quest: Solve coding puzzles to guide an astronaut in space with Nadmi Casiano, the first deaf woman to graduate with an aeronautical engineering degree. All students are welcome, and ASL interpreters will be available at participating Microsoft Store locations to empower students with hearing disabilities.
  • African American Girls Code with Tynker Space Quest: Joan Higgenbotham, one of the first African American female astronauts to go into space, will share her experience at a workshop geared toward inspiring African American Girls to pursue STEM. Participants will learn basic coding concepts in an engaging format as they navigate aliens in search for a spaceship.
  • MANCODE with Design and Code Apps: Brainstorm app ideas and bring ideas to life with MANCODE, an organization aimed at addressing the stagnate growth of African American males within the STEM industry, who currently represent only 2.2% of the field. This workshop is geared toward underrepresented male students aged 13 and older, who will meet a male minority mentor and learn about the importance of technology.
  • Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit Workshop: Explore the magic of STEM at a Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit Workshop that introduces foundational coding concepts, including drag-and-drop coding. This autism-friendly workshop features alternate activities to allow a broad level of participation, and parents are welcome to join with their child.

In addition to these workshops, Microsoft Stores will also host Minecraft Hour of Code workshops, teaching students of all ages to code with Minecraft. The new Minecraft Hour of Code lesson aligns with this year’s theme, Computer Science for Good. Students will explore coding and artificial intelligence as they protect a village from forest fires in an immersive Minecraft world. Anyone can learn how coding can help build a better world—in just one hour!

Check availability of workshops and RSVP at your local Microsoft Store. Programming will vary by location. And, do you know students always get 10% off at Microsoft Store?* Make sure to take advantage of your discount when you shop at Microsoft Store.


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