As the third annual Hour of Code approaches, is launching a “Minecraft”-themed tutorial to teach kids basic coding skills.

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Just a week after announcing a partnership with the “Star Wars” franchise, Seattle coding education company has cemented another high-profile partner — Microsoft.

As the third annual Hour of Code approaches, is launching a “Minecraft”-themed tutorial to teach kids basic coding skills.

“Minecraft,” the popular world-building game that Microsoft acquired last year, has been the most requested game by students, said Code-org co-founder Hadi Partovi.

“Kids write thank-you cards after doing tutorials in classrooms and they say, ‘Please do ‘Minecraft,’ ” Partovi said.

Microsoft is one of’s largest donors, having donated more than $3 million to the nonprofit, and the Redmond company let use the “Minecraft” name for free. Microsoft also provided developers who helped create the tutorial.

Microsoft has been looking at ways to incorporate the game into education since January, said Deirdre Quarnstrom, director of Minecraft Education at Microsoft.

“We really see coding and computer science literacy as relevant in an increasingly digital world,” she said. develops online tutorials aimed at kids, and it previously announced “Frozen” and “Star Wars”-themed lessons. The nonprofit, which also works to bring computer science education to all U.S. high schools, said its training program is now in about 600 high schools.

The “Minecraft” tutorial will take students through 14 different challenges that teach simple commands using a drag-and-drop format. The final level is a “free play” session where students can build shelter, clear the environment, or complete several other acts. That level was designed to be fun and keep kids coming back to play, Quarnstrom said. promotes Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week in early December, but the tutorials are available year-round.

The third Hour of Code campaign, which begins Dec. 7, is on track to see a huge increase of participants during computer science week, Partovi said. Last year, about 70,000 teachers signed up to host an Hour of Code event by the beginning of the computer science week. This year, more than 100,000 teachers have signed up and there are still three weeks to go. estimates that more than 100 million students have tried the Hour of Code tutorial.