Microsoft’s free open source computer science platform MakeCode is partnering with Cartoon Network and tech design school Adafruit to create a set of projects and tutorials that aims to inspire young people to code.
The DIY creations for kids include an electronic crown, a glow-in-the-dark room sign, a paper cup lamp and interactive Cartoon Network characters using Adafruit’s Circuit Playground Express micro-controller device along with Makecode’s coding environment. To experiment with the projects and tutorials, children will need a computer with internet, a Circuit Playground Express device (US$29.95) and common crafting materials. More information and instructions can be found on CN’s website.
According to the companies, the driving motivation behind this new partnership was data estimating that, in the next decade, 77% of jobs will be in technology. Creativity is still ranked among the top three skills the World Economic Forum predicts employers will look for in candidates, however, so this new program hopes to foster both of those skills in the youngest generation.
This is not the first time Cartoon Network has tried to teach kids how to code; in 2015 the company partnered with Scratch to release free coding tutorials for kids featuring the We Bare Bears characters, in 2016 it partnered with Scratch again to launch an initiative featuring the Powerpuff Girls, and in 2017 Cartoon Network in APAC launched Code the Future to teach tweens the basics of computer programming through shows like Ben 10, Adventure Time, We Bare Bears and The Powerpuff Girls.