Cybera inspires students to code

Students from Bassano School take part in the Just Code It tutorial.
Students from Bassano School take part in the Just Code It tutorial.

The importance of preparing children for an increasingly digitized workplace is growing in recognition, as more schools begin to integrate computer science into their K-12 curriculum. To support this initiative, Cybera, in partnership with Mindfuel and Partners in Research, hosted an Hour of Code learning event this week. Over 1,250 participants from around the world learned the basics of computer coding in a Minecraft environment.

Running in conjunction with the international Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code aims to broaden global participation in computer science and give people a fun and creative opportunity to learn to code.

"The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket-science, anybody can learn the basics," says Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of, which organizes the annual event. "Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code. The demand for relevant 21st century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries."

Cybera’s joint event, called Just Code It, involved a live tutorial to 42 locations around the world, led by the company’s vice president of technology, John Shillington, and senior developer, David Ackerman. They described the impact that computer science and coding is making around the world, and what drew them into developer careers. They then coded their way through a Minecraft tutorial that participants were encouraged to follow along with. This tutorial uses command blocks such as ‘Move Forward’ and ‘Plant Crops’ to introduce the processes and thinking that go into coding.

Students joined the conversation in real-time, tweeting questions to #JustCodeIt about career opportunities in computer science, and asking for tips for creating their own video games.

The Hour of Code event has been promoted worldwide by figures such as Bill Gates, President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. The event is running until December 13. Anyone, from ages 4 to 104, is encouraged to organize their own Hour of Code or try one of the one–hour tutorials. Other themed tutorials available on the site include Star Wars, Frozen, Angry Birds and more.

To view the Just Code It tutorial, click here.


About the Hour of Code
The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students across the world. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Last year, this global movement reached more than 100 million students in 180 countries.

About Cybera
Cybera is a not-for-profit technology-neutral organization responsible for driving Alberta’s economic growth through the use of digital technology. Its core role is to oversee the development and operations of Alberta’s cyberinfrastructure — the advanced system of networks and computers that keeps government, educational institutions, not-for-profits, business incubators and entrepreneurs at the forefront of technological change.

About Mindfuel
MindFuel is a non-profit organization dedicated to igniting a passion for science in young minds through unique educational programs in the classroom and beyond. From hands-on experiments to interactive online games and videos, the organization bring science to life in ways that are relevant and fun to fuel a lifelong interest in the world of science!

About Partners in Research
Partners in Research (PIR) is a registered Canadian charity founded in 1988 to help Canadians understand the significance, accomplishments and promise of biomedical research in advancing health and medicine. Since its genesis, PIR has broadened its scope to encompass Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as fields of discovery and study for Canadian students.