Program administrators of the Morningstar Middle School reached out to Microsoft and Fair Chance Learning to see if there was an opportunity to offer real world application for the curriculum that was being delivered on coding and game design. On Tuesday, July 25, Microsoft Canada opened their headquarters’ doors to these students and their coding mentors from Peel District School Board and The Institute for Research on Digital Learning at York University.
On-the-job learning was the main focus, giving these students the chance to envision career possibilities beyond what they had experienced so far. Students unboxed micro:bits and learned the basics of programming using Microsoft MakeCode.com. Through step-by-step guidance and collaboration, each student built a pedometer and got to keep the micro:bit they had coded to continue their learning.
From here, the day only became more inspiring. Students took turns trying the HoloLens, explored the in-house video production studio, and met with Microsoft Xbox employees. While touring the Xbox workspace, students learned from these employees that problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity are among the top skills Microsoft looks for in candidates. Through an informal Q&A session, meeting employees, and touring through the Xbox office space and Live Stream Studio, these students gained a clearer vision of themselves in careers and roles that excited them and motivated them to achieve their learning potential.
Students also heard about the importance of relationship-building and gaining meaningful work experience while attending school from members of the Microsoft Technology Centre. The day finished with the students enjoying a healthy lunch after learning about career opportunities in the culinary and hospitality industry from Alexandra Boyd, the Catering Coordinator of the Microsoft Café.
The students were able to see first-hand the workforce skills that will be required of them. The experience allowed them to understand careers beyond what they've seen through family and their immediate communities. Through directly showing these students career possibilities available to them, and giving them a better understanding of how they could achieve them, they left the day envisioning a bright future for themselves.
To learn more about Microsoft Canada's offerings for all levels of education, visit microsoft.ca/education. You can learn to code your own micro:bit projects at Microsoft MakeCode. For teaching resources and professional development, visit the Microsoft Educator Community.