Students participate in the free Ohbot the Robot immersive, educational workshop at the Microsoft Store where they learn to code Ohbot to talk and move.

Today, technology jobs make up 50 percent of our workforce and that number will move to 77 percent in the next decade. With the growing gap in access to STEM learning – especially for girls and students of color – how will we ensure students have the right skills to fill the jobs of tomorrow?

To help teachers save time both in and out of the classroom, Microsoft Store offers professional development and field trips for teachers and students providing free content and fun workshops.

[2/8/2019 update: Please note the new event date below.]

Teachers ignite STEM interest with workshops and field trips

In teaching STEM, teachers often need support to build their own skills and confidence in the subject matter. Microsoft provides access to free professional development resources including in-person workshops and online learning courses.

Teachers can learn how to deliver STEM content in their own classroom from professionally trained Microsoft Store MIE (Microsoft Innovative Educator) learning specialists or bring their students into a Microsoft Store for a fun, free, immersive technology enabled field trip.

For the first time, Microsoft Store will be live streaming a workshop on Facebook on February 16 at 12:30 p.m. PST showcasing students and teachers building a STEM project, a shark swimmer controller, in real time. This ocean-inspired lesson plan, developed in partnership with BBC Learning, teaches students how to write code, build sensors, create 3D visuals and experience mixed reality all while learning how sharks swim. This program is even being featured by BBC Learning. Access to the live stream will be available through Microsoft Education’s Facebook page.

Susan A. Gold, the Co-Founder and Head of Feynman School recently brought students into the Microsoft Store at Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda, Maryland for an Hour of CodeTM training session.

“The Hour of Code program was engaging, educational and most of all fun for all of our students,” Susan said. “I thought that the staff members assisting us were extremely knowledgeable and related well to our middle school students.”

Microsoft Stores across the U.S., Canada and Australia conduct over 2,300 hours of free workshops during the year. These workshops can be tailored to the age of the students and the education goals of the teacher whether it is coding OhBot the Robot to talk and move, make a robotic hand from $3 of household items, code an undersea Minecraft world or how to manage cyberbullying.

Visit your local Microsoft Store to find the latest list of available workshops.

Students learn skills today that will help them solve the world’s problems of tomorrow

Today’s generation of students will study higher-education courses that don’t yet exist, work in roles that have not yet been created and will be tasked with solving the most complex environmental, social and economic issues of any generation in history. Microsoft Store programming and workshops help students learn real-world problem-solving and computational thinking skills through interdisciplinary STEM experiences that will prepare them for the future.

Microsoft Store team members have been visiting Elma Primary School for the past two years and recently taught Minecraft Hour of Code to over 50 students and parents.

Emily Rautenstrauch, Community Development Specialist at Microsoft Store, Walden Galleria in Buffalo, New York, said the events have helped showcase the workshop opportunities to teachers and parents.

“Most parents didn’t realize Microsoft Store offered free workshops,” Emily said. “But by offering in-school workshops and additional information on our youth events, dyslexia, cyberbullying and gaming workshops, we have been able to generate a great partnership with Elma Primary teachers and parents.”

If you see an opportunity for a school, class or teacher you know could benefit from Microsoft Education, encourage them to visit their local Microsoft Store location and together we will continue to unlock limitless learning with free customized field trips for classes and free STEM lessons every Saturday in February.