The Cartoon Network / Adafruit Industries / Microsoft MakeCode Collaboration

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.”

An Introduction to Steven Universe

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.

MakeCode Projects

Here are some projects Adafruit has already written tutorials for in the Adafruit Learning System with additional tutorials planned.

Steven Universe

Steven Quartz Universe is the series main protagonist, an empathetic and loving half-gem/half human. Steven is the son human Greg Universe and gem Rose Quartz. Greg was a young musician when he met Rose Quartz and gave up his career to spend his life with Rose. Rose was the leader of the Crystal Gems and gave up her physical form to have Steven.

Steven feels the pressure of living up to his mom's legacy, especially since he inherited her crystal and abilities. While developing and mastering his abilities, he progressively accepts his individuality outside of his mom and her accomplishments. With the help of the Crystal Gems, his dad, and best friend Connie, Steven becomes his best self.

Pearl

Pearl is one of Steven's caretakers and the most strict. Her gemstone is located on her forehead and grants her the ability to create holographic images and store various objects. Pearl's weapon is a spear.

Pearl had a very close, almost obsessive, relationship with Rose Quartz and holds on to her grief. This causes disdain for Greg and an overprotectiveness of Steven. 

Within the Crystal Gems, Pearl is the strategist and usually comes up with the plans to accomplish their missions.

Garnet

Garnet is the current leader of the Crystal Gems. She is a fusion of two smaller gems, Ruby and Sapphire, and her personality is a combination of the two. Sapphire is a very reserved clairvoyant and Ruby is an impulsive soldier. She is also protective of Steven but allows him room to make his own decisions.

Garnet's gemstones are located on her palms. Her weapon is a pair of heavy gauntlets. Since Sapphire has one eye and Ruby has two eyes, as Garnet she has three eyes in a triangular formation so she wears a visor.

Amethyst

Amethyst is the youngest of the full-gem Crystal Gems. Since she is the youngest, her relationship with Steven is less of a caretaker and more of a friend. She is very childlike and mischievous, often dealing with feelings of inadequacy. 

Amethyst's gemstone is located on her chest and her weapon is a whip.

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz was the leader of the Crystal Gems and started the revolution against the Great Diamond Authority. According to everyone that knew her, she was loving and cared for all living things. She wanted all gems to be loved and accepted as they are.

Rose's gem was located on her abdomen. Her weapons were a sword and shield.

Connie

Connie is Steven's best friend. She is always very supportive of Steven and learns to sword fight in order to help him and the Crystal Gems. Connie is gifted Rose's sword and become's Steven's equal. 

Rose Quartz's Shield and Sword

Rose Quartz's shield and sword were passed on to Steven. Steven is able to summon the shield from his gem. The sword was summoned through his mom's Lion's mane. Steven gifted his mom's sword to his best friend Connie.

Garnet's Gauntlet's

Garnet's gauntlets are summoned from her palm gems and have the ability to grow and shrink in size.

Pearl's Spear and Sword

Pearl's spear is summoned from her gem located on her forehead.  

Pearl's swords are not used as often as her spear but is used throughout the series. 

Amethyst's Whip

Amethyst can summon her whip from her gem. The whip's length can adjust in size.

Opal's Bow and Arrow

Opal is the fusion of Amethyst and Pearl. She uses an opalescent recurve bow that fires light-based arrows that can disperse into smaller arrows to hit multiple targets.

Sugilite's Extendable Gauntlet

Sugilite is the fusion of Garnet and Amethyst. Her weapon is a combination of Garnet's gauntlet and Amethyst's whip. It functions as a ball and chain.

Sardonyx's Hammer

Sardonyx is the fusion of Garnet and Pearl. Their weapon is a fusion of Garnet's gauntlets and Pearl's spear. It forms a hammer and functions as such.

Smokey Quartz's Yo-Yo

Smokey Quartz is the fusion of Steven and Amethyst. Steven's shields and Amethyst's whip form a yo-yo which is used like a ball and chain.

Obsidian's Sword

Obsidian is the fusion of Garnet, Steven, Pearl, and Amethyst. It's a combination of Pearl's spear, Steven's shield, Garnet's gauntlet, and Amethyst's whip. Their weapons are combined as a sword handle and the actual blade is made from the lava flowing in its mouth. 

This guide was first published on Feb 18, 2019. It was last updated on Feb 18, 2019.