It’s estimated that in the next decade 77 percent of jobs will be in technology, while creativity is ranked among the top three skills the World Economic Forum predicts employers will be looking for in candidates. This presents today’s educators and parents with a unique challenge – and opportunity – to help prepare kids today for the digital future and inspire their creativity. And as Microsoft Innovative Educator Pip Cleaves reminds us, one of the most effective and fun ways to teach creativity in the classroom is with coding.

That’s why we’re excited to announce today that we’re joining Cartoon Network and Adafruit to create a set of projects and tutorials to inspire young people to code, create and construct. With fun, whimsical DIY creations such as an electronic crown, a glow-in-the-dark room sign or a paper cup lamp, students can use the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express micro-controller device, Microsoft’s MakeCode coding environment, and Cartoon Network’s most loved characters to learn the basics of coding and let their imagination go wild.

“This generation of kids is the most diverse, mobile generation ever. They immerse themselves in content, not just as consumers, but as creators,” said Jill King, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships, Cartoon Network. “We see this partnership as bringing best-in-class offerings together to inspire kids. With software from Microsoft, hardware from Adafruit, and characters that kids love from Cartoon Network, we hope to fuel their creative confidence, self-expression, and curiosity.”

Tools like Microsoft MakeCode for Adafruit Circuit Playground Express open up incredible creative possibilities for students to program physical devices. When paired with Cartoon Network’s portfolio of unique characters beloved by kids today, students who might not normally see themselves as “coders” can be inspired and engaged.

To learn more, visit the Cartoon Network project page. You will need a computer with an internet connection, a Circuit Playground Express device, and common crafting materials you can find around the house to get started with these projects.