Hour of Code is on! Millions of young people worldwide are learning fundamentals of computer science

New Delhi, December 11, 2015: As part of the third annual Hour of Code, Microsoft is leading thousands of events in more than 50 countries around the world in support of Code.org. Microsoft is encouraging millions of young people across the globe to take their first steps into the world of coding and computer science during Computer Science Education Week, December 7 – 13. Aimed at introducing and exposing young minds to computer science and to the world of technology, events are taking place at Microsoft stores, offices and innovation centers as well as facilities of Microsoft’s YouthSpark nonprofit partners and schools. These events are being led by over 7,000 Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs) with 50 of them being from India, Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) and employee volunteers. In addition, Microsoft is gifting Windows Store credit to every educator who organizes an Hour of Code event worldwide.

This year Microsoft Corp. has also teamed up with Code.org to bring a Minecraft coding tutorial for students and educators, created especially for this edition of Hour of Code. The new tutorial – now available at code.org/mc – introduces players to basic coding within the fun and popular Minecraft environment. Created by Minecraft game designers together with Code.org, the tutorial features Steve and Alex from Minecraft, and Minecraft-inspired challenges that will be familiar to more than 100 million players around the world.

In India, over 7000 students from close to 100 schools and centres are taking part in Hour of Code this year. As part of the campaign, Microsoft Student Partners and Educators in 10 selected schools across the country are engaging with students across the ages of 12-18 years. Microsoft’s NGO Partners in India including Magic Bus, Smile Foundation, Aide-et-Action, Dream-a-Dream, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme are hosting sessions across their centres in this week-long event. Hour of Code sessions are also being organised to educate students on coding, creating awareness about coding as a career option and facilitating training sessions on Powerpoint and Windows Movie Maker.

“At Microsoft it is our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more and in line with that our education initiatives are aimed at helping the students develop essential skills, including computational thinking – so students and all young people can succeed today, and tomorrow. Encouraging and promoting Hour of Code is our effort to expose the young generation to the world of computer science as it helps in building critical skills like computational thinking and problem solving that strengthen abilities in any industry and any sector. We believe that today when technology has become an integral part of people’s daily lives, this knowledge is extremely imperative,” said Harish Vaidyanathan, Director, ISV Business, Microsoft India.

To date, more than 100 million students across 180 countries and 40 languages have participated in the Hour of Code, including one in three students in U.S. schools. This year, the campaign expects to exceed 100,000 events during December 7−14 and to continue introducing more students to this foundational 21st century field.

About Code.org

Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Code.org believes computer science should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.

For more information, visit https://www.Code.org.

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 7,000 employees engaged in sales and marketing, research and development, and customer services and support across ten Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.

To try the new tutorial: https://code.org/mc

For more information about Microsoft’s commitment to education or for press assets related to the “Minecraft” Hour of Code tutorial: http://news.microsoft.com

For more information about using “Minecraft” in education: http://education.minecraft.net

 Note: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.