What's Microsoft 'Kodu Kup' for kids in UAE

Kodu Kup is a global coding competition open to children aged 7-14.(Supplied)

Microsoft says it is once again delivering an opportunity for children in the UAE to develop their creativity, problem solving, storytelling, and programming skills, through the Middle East launch of the company’s Kodu Kup competition.

Currently in its sixth year, the Kodu Kup, a cornerstone of the Microsoft Citizenship initiative, is a global coding competition, open to children aged 7-14.

The contest challenges students to design a game on the theme of the environment, using Kodu Game Lab technology. The firm says that the Kodu Kup brings together the brightest young minds to exemplify the power of student innovation.

The first UAE edition of the Kodu Kup was launched on October 1, when a comprehensive teacher information pack was made available to download from the competition’s website, www.kodugamelab.com.

The competition will challenge students to create and code a game from scratch using the visual programming language Microsoft Kodu. The contest will run until December 31, 2015, and the UAE live final will take place on the February 27, 2016, at Microsoft’s office in Dubai.

This year, Microsoft says it is taking the initiative to share its knowledge and educate all school students in the UAE about the importance of the role that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays in building a knowledge-based society, where people of all ages can learn collaboratively, enhancing their skills and empowering them to turn their dreams into reality.

“Microsoft believes in empowering every person and organisation to achieve more,” said Michael Mansour, Head of Apps & Innovation, Microsoft Gulf. “We are excited to bring the Kodu Kup to the UAE for the first time. As innovation is the key to success, we want to encourage young minds to enhance their coding skills, and also to come up with ideas that will not only challenge them but also make a difference to society.”

He continues: “The Kodu Kup is a competition that enables youngsters to learn coding in a fun and interactive way. When we were approached by local teachers to launch the competition here, we were thrilled to have this opportunity to enhance the ICT educational curriculum and encourage girls in particular by creating a category just for them called the Queen of Kodu.”

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