Cartoon Network, Microsoft MakeCode and Adafruit announced in early January 2019 that they are teaming up for a set of new projects and tutorials for kids to learn the basics of coding and stretch their creative muscles.
The hope is that by using Cartoon Network’s fan-favorite characters from shows such as "Steven Universe", “Adventure Time”, "The PowerPuff Girls" and “The Amazing World of Gumball” in projects incorporating Microsoft and Adafruit’s tech tools, they will appeal even to kids who wouldn’t consider themselves coders.
“With software from Microsoft, hardware from Adafruit, and characters that kids love from Cartoon Network, we hope to fuel their creative confidence, self-expression, and curiosity.”
Steven Quartz Universe is a young half-human, half-gem who is part of the Crystal Gems with Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Together, they help protect humanity against corrupted gems and other strange occurrences.
The Crystal Gems are a group of revolutionary gems who are trying to destroy the strict caste system of their home planet, ruled by the Great Diamond Authority. The Crystal Gems were formed by Steven's mom, Rose Quartz who gave up her form to help create Steven.
Throughout the series, Steven explores the powers he inherited from his mom and continuing her legacy with guidance from his dad Greg (Mr. Universe), best friend Connie, and the Crystal Gems.
The series also focuses on friendship, acceptance, anxiety, death, grief, and self-identity. It is truly a unique show and touches on more than good vs. bad. Steven Universe touches on real life issues in a way that makes it easy for children to understand and complex enough for adults to appreciate.
Here are some projects Adafruit has already written tutorials for in the Adafruit Learning System with additional tutorials planned.