This summer, Microsoft launched the Global Skills Initiative aimed at helping 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills. And since that announcement, we’ve helped 10 million people gain skills to better navigate digital transformation.
We believe it’s imperative to help everyone who wants it to have access to learning technology that powers the digital economy. Those who create technology will shape our future, and there shouldn’t be barriers to learning the skills required to do so. We’re helping prepare today’s learners for jobs of tomorrow in multiple technical fields, from development to data science and machine learning, and more. Our goal is to ignite the passion to solve important problems relevant to their lives, families and communities.
One way we bring that goal to life is through story-driven partnerships with leading creators like Netflix. We began that journey with NASA, “Wonder Woman 1984” and the Smithsonian Learning Labs. And now, we’re excited to release a new learning experience featuring a young female hero who has a passion for science and is empowered by her intelligence to explore space! This has already been an exciting week for space developments at Microsoft – now we want to help you explore space with some new learning experiences.
Inspired by the new Netflix Original, “Over the Moon,” today we’re launching three new Microsoft Learn modules that guide learners through beginning concepts in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The new Explore Space with “Over the Moon” learning path includes three parts:
- Plan a Moon Mission using the Python Pandas Library – Like Fei Fei, use data to plan your own mission to the moon. Ensure your rocket can not only get you there, but also bring you and all your moon rocks safely back to Earth. Analyze and visualize datasets with common data cleansing practices.
- Predict Meteor Showers using Python and VC Code – Build a machine learning prediction model after cleansing a space-themed dataset on meteor showers. Incorporate Chang’e’s potential affects on meteor showers for an added complexity.
- Use AI to Recognize Objects in Images using Azure Custom Vision – Repurposing the camera on the lunar rover, search through the moon’s surface for Fei Fei’s buddy Bungee before it’s time to head back to Earth. Use Azure Custom Vision to classify pictures of animals without ever writing code.
These modules utilize Visual Studio Code and Azure Cognitive Services so learners walk away with practical skills for the careers of tomorrow. Though “Over the Moon” features a young hero, the storyline and technical learning aspect has broad appeal for upskilling professionals and post-secondary students alike. Some coding skills are recommended but not required to progress. For more details on the tech in these lessons, check out our Azure Developer Community blog post.
“Netflix is excited to partner with Microsoft to bring some of the challenges of space travel that Fei Fei overcame in ‘Over The Moon’ to life with real world technical application in this new Microsoft Learn path.” – Magno Herran, head of UCAN Marketing Partnerships, Netflix
The movie’s story takes place in a beautifully animated universe and tackles problems real-life space engineers face. “Over the Moon” is a film about Fei Fei, a girl who builds her own space rocket and uses her creativity, resourcefulness and imagination to reach the moon. With its diverse cast and young female protagonist, the film creates an inclusivity to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) that’s so important in inspiring upskilling pros and new learners alike. We hope to inspire students, career changers, and even expert coders to learn something new, because anyone can pursue their dreams, no matter how out of this world they may seem. Explore more about “Over the Moon” on Microsoft’s InCulture experience.
Want to hear what the actors of “Over the Moon” said about new skilling experiences? Start here:
“This is such important movie because Fei Fei’s determination and passion for science is shared by millions of girls and women around the world.” – Cathy Ang
“This is an inspiring story of determination and making dreams come true through the love and support of your community … we invite you to start your journey of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to support space exploration!” – Phillipa Soo
You can also learn how to create a character like Fei Fei – and solve complex problems like her, too –with a drawing tutorial from director Glen Keane.
Additional programs to inspire and engage learners
Imagine Cup 2020 – Student developers making a difference through coding, collaboration and competition. Over the past 19 years, more than 2 million competitors have taken part in the Imagine Cup, Microsoft’s global student technology competition. This season of Imagine Cup is a global virtual experience with four new categories: Earth, Education, Health and Lifestyle. By leveraging Microsoft tools, resources and learning materials students can bring their bold ideas to life. Prizes include mentorship from Microsoft experts, cash, the chance to showcase their work on a global stage, and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
New Beginners’ learning on Microsoft Learn and Learn TV. We continue to expand our paths for beginning learners that teach coding, explore new frameworks and libraries, and experiment with emerging technologies. Here’s a compilation of our more recent additions:
- Learn with Dr G – a weekly programming video series, kicking off with “Over the Moon” content
- Coffee & Code a weekly beginner’s series on web development
- Dev Intro to Data Science – series of 28 snackable on-demand videos
- Get started with Blockchain – new guided learning path
- Discover the Role of Coding in Space Exploration – NASA-themed learning path for intro AI classification and more
- Learn the Basics of Python with Wonder Woman – Write a secret decoder algorithm with Python and build your own conditional logic app
Wherever you are on the skilling journey, we have something for you! Please join us in helping today’s learners build the job skills of tomorrow (and have some fun doing it).