Bangkok, 8 December 2016 – Microsoft Corp. introduces its 4th year #HourOfCode to broaden interest and provide basic coding skills with Minecraft coding tutorial which has been created exclusively for Hour of Code since 2015. The project aims to spur Thai youth interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics – STEM). The global Hour of Code event is scheduled to take place around the world during 5 – 11 December 2016.
This year Microsoft Thailand, in partnership with ChangeFusion and Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, also hosted #HourOfCode for more than 100 Thai youth including underprivileged children, students living in remote areas and Bangkok. The event was presided over by Teerawut Thongpak, Director of Digital Service Infrastructure Department, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society with guest speaker and success role model Parimeth Wongsatayanon – a member of Team PH21, the global winner of the Games category in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2016 competition. Parimeth shared with the fascinated audiences how his experience in basic coding has brought him global opportunity and inspired the younger generations to become successful application developers.
Since October 2016, Microsoft Thailand has been conducting basic coding workshops for children from Karen Refugee Camp, Mae Sot, Tak province, Baan Tam Hin Refugee Camp, Suan Pueng, Ratchaburi province, students in the three southernmost provinces and disabled as well as women in correctional institutions. Hour of Code aims to open up accessibility to computer science education for more than 7,000 youths across the country by September 2017.
According to Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which surveys education curriculum of 15-year-old students in 20 participating countries, only 30% of the students have experience in computer programming. This reflects that young generations around the world including Thailand are unequipped with basic coding skills.
“#HourOfCode is an annual global campaign that Microsoft partnering with Code.org initiated to broaden participation in computer science and to support the Computer Science Education Week during 5 – 11 December 2016. The campaign aims to equip younger generations with all backgrounds with problem-solving skills and creativity in order to become next generation innovators. With Minecraft, the game that has been played by more than 30 million people around the world, this will be an engaging, effective and fun way to create new generations of IT experts. In Thailand, Hour of Code has been conducted for 4 years consecutively since 2013. Microsoft Thailand is committed to supporting coding skill development for Thais, starting from basic coding skills. Currently, more than 40,000 Thai youths have participated in the Hour of Code. Microsoft is pleased to provide coding tutorials for Thai students across the nation”, said Siriporn Pajharawat, Director of Developer Experience & Platform Evangelism Group, Microsoft Thailand
“From my personal experience, the world is becoming even more digital. In addition to language skills, IT and technological skills will add great value and advantage to everyone in the world where work environment is highly-competitive and people rely heavily on technology.”, said Parimeth. “I participated in many Microsoft’s IT empowering events and I am happy for Thai fellows that Microsoft is fully supportive of coding skill development from the very basic knowledge through coding tutorial in #HourOfCode with Minecraft game that children love seeing that this passion will let them advance to better career opportunity later on.”
In addition to Minecraft coding tutorial, participants in #HourOfCode will be able to attend workshops that are specifically designed for basic coding skills for youths in order to increase their Algorithm understanding, critical thinking and problem-solving skills including Computer Around You, Graph Paper Programming and Easy Coding with Microsoft TouchDevelop’.
With its versatility, Minecraft is used as a learning tool in more than 10,000 classes around the world including history, physics, science, arts, digital citizens and many more.
In November 2016, Microsoft joined force with Code.org to create a new coding tutorial program called ‘Minecraft Hour of Code Designer’ where youths can create their own Minecraft world and design coding to control animals’ behavior. It will help spark creativity, support collaboration and empower students around the world to be more productive.
“Now we are experiencing Digital Transformation. Technological skills will be very critical because in the near future, more than 6 million careers required IT skills will emerge. Governments and private sector’s direction and policy will address more and more digital-related developments”, added Siriporn. “In addition to broaden education opportunity, Microsoft hopes that the skills acquired from Hour of Code will benefit children’s life, enable them to pursue better career opportunity, foster their skills to be an IT experts and ultimately contribute to Thai society.”
For more information about Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, visit education.minecraft.net