Kids love coding. Really, they do. We hear so much about technology and job prospects (did you know by 2019, the project skills gap in the Canadian IT sector is expected to be 182,000 jobs, and youth unemployment in Canada is at an all-time high? Makes that field pretty tempting…) but it’s also important to emphasize how many children (and adults) actually love these activities. Whether our children end up employed in IT or not, coding is a fun way to explore the possibility.

This past summer I did an online training program for teachers through, and showed my girls the activities. They were hooked…and you and your kids might be too! (If they’re hesitant, you’ll probably have them at “Minecraft”.) My grade 3 students had the opportunity to do some coding with the principal one day as well, and raved about it afterwards.

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week (happening through Sunday December 13th), Microsoft Canada has launched the #CodeGeneration campaign, encouraging students to learn to code.

With free online coding challenges, in-store “Hour of Code” sessions and a partnership with offering students and educators a Minecraft coding tutorial, Microsoft wants to show students that anyone can learn to code, and the power to create technology is at our fingertips.

If you’ve never heard of “Hour of Code”, it’s a global movement launched by and supported by Microsoft, reaching tens of millions of students in over 180 countries – students as young as four years old can get involved.

#CodeGeneration will wrap up Computer Science Education Week with a bang on Sunday, December 13th by hosting “Hour of Code” Minecraft-themed coding workshops for teens in Microsoft stores nationwide.

If your teen is interested in one of the Microsoft Hour of Code sessions, here are the details:

  • Who – Students between the ages of 13 and 18
  • What – In-store “Hour of Code” sessions
  • When – Sunday, December 13 2015 (all local time zones)
    • Session 1: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    • Session 2: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • Session 3: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.      
  • Where – Microsoft Stores nationwide:
    • Calgary, Chinook Centre
    • Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall     
    • Burnaby, Metropolis at Metrotown 
    • Vancouver, Pacific Centre
    • Mississauga, Square One Shopping Centre    
    • Toronto, Eaton Centre
    • Toronto, Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Kids (and parents, and teachers) can get involved from home too…be sure to check out and get started!

Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Microsoft. Opinions are, as always, my own.

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