Microsoft Launches In-Store STEM Program Throughout May, VR Curriculum

Microsoft unveiled several education offerings earlier this week, like the upcoming Surface Laptop and an education-specific version of Windows 10, as well as a few STEM-focused initiatives.

STEM Saturday's will take place throughout the month of May at Microsoft Stores. Image: Microsoft.

Starting Saturday, May 6, Microsoft Store locations around the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries will host “STEM Saturdays” throughout May. Teachers, students and parents are invited to stop by a store to participate in a 30-minute project-based learning experience.

The “Building Flex Sensors” experience is one of two activities within Microsoft’s “Building Machines Emulate Humans” lesson plan. While it is geared toward students ages 11-14, anyone can join in-store. Participants will build a flex sensor to control a robotic finger, learning “basic skills typically used by mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and data scientists.” (Participating store locations and times are available on the event page.)

Another STEM initiative comes from Microsoft's existing partnership with Pearson. The publishing giant has been working with Microsoft to integrate 3D and mixed reality (MR) into secondary and postsecondary curriculum, previously piloting MR educational content at San Diego State University and other schools. Now, by the 2018 school year, “Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history and STEM, on all Windows Mixed Reality devices,” according to a Windows blog post.

Further information on the Microsoft-Pearson partnership and VR content is available in the video below.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].