LeBron James, Microsoft, and Warner Bros promote coding to kids

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Microsoft logoSource: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central

LeBron James is frequently referred to as a human cheat code on the basketball court. Now, he’s helping kids learn how to code to prepare the next generation for jobs in computing and development. Before the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which James stars in, Microsoft and Warner Bros. have three new programs to help kids learn to code. First, kids can help develop a new Space Jam arcade-style video game. Second, Microsoft Stores will host free Space Jam: A New Legacy-themed virtual workshops on video game creation. Finally, there are two new lessons for Microsoft Learn that are themed to Space Jam: A New Legacy.

A blog post from Microsoft highlights that 77 percent of jobs in the next decade will be in technology, according to the World Economic Forum. Microsoft has its own Global Skilling Initiative to help people acquire computing skills, and now the company is working with Warner Bros. and James to create new opportunities for the next generation.

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Two winners of the Xbox contest will have their ideas for games turned into reality as the official Space Jam: A New Legacy arcade-style video game. The games will be available as a perk for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in 2021. The Xbox contest runs from now until December 30, and fans aged 14 and older can submit their ideas to the contest website.

The virtual workshops at Microsoft Stores are aimed at kids as young as eight years old. They consist of a 90-minute Microsoft Teams Live lesson and have students make a playable prototype of a video game. Students will use the MakeCode Arcade platform and learn about skills and STEAM careers as well.

The new lessons on Microsoft Learn teach data science and coding using Visual Studio Code, GitHub, Azure, and other popular tools. The lessons are inspired by the tune Squad that’s featured in Space Jam: A New Legacy.

James has promoted education for years and regularly contributes his time, money, and effort to promote and enable the next generation to pursue education. Microsoft highlights that James’ I Promise School inspired them and that the company believes it can “inspire others to discover data science and coding much in the way many of us were inspired through gaming.”

Who knows, someone inspired to code by these efforts might create the next Space Jam website.

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