CodeCombat Raises Series A and Announces Ozaria – An Immersive New Game to Teach Computer Science

A new way to teach a new subject – Ozaria is a computer science program, an adventure game, and a fantasy story where students master the lost magic of coding to save their world.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$NTES #STEMCodeCombat today announced that they have developed a new computer science game geared for educators and students, called Ozaria. In Ozaria, students find themselves at the center of a legendary story where they must save the world from impending darkness by mastering computational thinking, learning Python or JavaScript, and building creative projects. Prologue: The Sky Mountain is now available free for all educators to use with students.


To create Ozaria, expand further in the US, and build partnerships in China, including with partners NetEase and Tarena, CodeCombat also announced that it has closed a $6M Series A round of funding led by Veronica Wu from Hone Capital. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Extol Capital, and OceanOne Capital.

When the team at CodeCombat developed their first computer science program in 2013, they set out to create a fun and compelling way to learn to type code. Six years later, CodeCombat and other game-based learning solutions remain popular as educators grapple with how to engage students in an era of persistent entertainment. “They are all obsessed with Fortnite and CodeCombat is actually competing with their phones, which is awesome,” said Jennifer Mazza, a teacher at Clarkstown Central School District, highlighting one of the many reasons that hundreds of thousands of educators rely on CodeCombat to teach computer science.

As the entertainment industry has evolved in the last six years, so too has the demand for computer science – thanks to sustained advocacy across the country, new state requirements, and progressive school leaders. With varied teaching mechanisms and a powerful story that is built to capture the imagination, Ozaria is the expansion of CodeCombat’s goal to engage students and grow their self-confidence around computer science.

“Reaching underserved students with engaging computer science education has been both a tough challenge and a big focus area for US educators over the last few years,” says Nick Winter, co-founder and CEO. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to build the insights from serving over twelve million CodeCombat learners into Ozaria, which represents a huge step forward in game-based learning inside the classroom.”

Shubhangi Gupta, CodeCombat’s most senior software engineer who developed much of the CodeCombat and Ozaria software systems, explains what sets these coding platforms apart: “Other code engines are either designed for professional software engineers or use simplified programming languages. We’ve developed the only beginner-focused code engine that runs real Python and JavaScript in the browser, letting kids with no coding experience start typing real code right away.”

At launch, educators will be able to teach the first unit, Prologue: The Sky Mountain, with more content for students releasing later this year. Educators can sign up for Ozaria for free on ozaria.com.

Features

Instruction that Captivates:

Computer science concepts are introduced via content types that includes game levels, instructional character dialogue, cutscenes, formative assessments, and more. Ozaria is designed from the ground up to effectively educate, captivate, and cultivate a love of learning.

Play to Build Real Skills:

As students level up their heroes in Ozaria, they also level up their own learning. Students type Python or JavaScript, problem-solve using computational thinking, and build 21st-century skills like critical thinking, initiative, and confidence.

Unleash Creativity:

Students will showcase their creative identity with capstone projects, which will range from choose-your-own-adventure stories to games, build a portfolio of their work within the game, and be able to share these games with friends, family, and classmates.

Teach with Support:

No previous computer science is required to teach Ozaria. Teachers will have access to data on student progress such as formative assessments along with resources like implementation guides, lesson plans, and rubrics.

Prepare to Discover Ozaria:

Ozaria will be available to play on Windows PCs, Chromebooks, and Macs using a modern browser. Clever login and Google Classroom integration will both be supported.

About CodeCombat:

CodeCombat makes computer science programs for students to learn JavaScript and Python while playing a real game. Over the last six years, over 12 million people have learned to write Python and JavaScript using CodeCombat, making it one of the most popular coding games in history. Now, CodeCombat is excited to launch Ozaria and expand on our commitment to inspire a new generation of students to learn computer science. Teachers and students can sign up for CodeCombat or Ozaria to try the first units for free.

For more details: Visit press.ozaria.com/

Contacts

Media Contacts: David Chase, [email protected] or Daniela Lao, [email protected].

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