Amazon isn’t the only tech company forecasting more STEM this summer. Running from July 3 through August, Microsoft will host a free, hands-on YouthSpark camp designed to teach kids coding and robotics using Microsoft Surface and pocket-sized robot Ozobot.
Microsoft’s two-hour Code and Create Games with Ozobot Robotics camps target kids ages eight to 12. Ozobot, from L.A.-based adaptive robotics company Evollve, comes to life as kids draw lines and color segments on paper. Once they’ve mastered drawing color commands for Ozobot—causing the robot to spin, dance and zig zag—the campers can progress to block-based programming and connect to the Ozobot app for additional games and new levels of play.
The two-hour camps will be held at 11 participating Microsoft Stores across the US, including locations in New York, L.A. and Seattle.
A recent Gallop survey found that 90% of US kids want to learn computer science. In December, Disney launched the free online tutorial Moana: Wayfinding with Code in collaboration with Code.org as part of the fourth-annual global Hour of Code initiative, which is designed to familiarize kids as young as five with coding basics.
And earlier this year, littleBits launched a new kit designed to teach the foundations of coding and engineering through blocks and gaming activities. The new kit also coincides with a littleBits Code Kit app that features drag-and-drop block programming based on Google’s Blockly.