As a nation, the USA kinda sucks when it comes to science and technology. That’s why it is so awesome to have organizations like Code.org and their hour of code program. To help celbrate the launch of the upcoming Star Wars The Force Awakens, and also because a cool movie is a great way to trick kids into learning something.
CODE.ORG AND DISNEY LAUNCH ‘STAR WARS: BUILDING A GALAXY WITH CODE’
ANNOUNCING A NEW TUTORIAL TO HELP STUDENTS BECOME STRONG WITH THE PROGRAMMING SIDE OF THE FORCE.
Soon, students can take their first steps into the larger world of Star Wars game design.
Today, Code.org unveiled a Star Wars-themed computer science tutorial,“Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code,” featuring Princess Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2, as well as Rey and BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The online lesson kicks off the third-annual global Hour of Code campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, 2015.
Students will learn to write code that allows them to create fun challenges and games using Star Wars characters new and classic. Participants will join forces with Rey to guide BB-8 through a space mission, then team up with Princess Leia to build their own game featuring R2-D2 or C-3PO. Completed games can be played on smartphones and shared with friends and family through a unique link.
“For generations, Star Wars has sparked kids’ curiosity and imagination, and we hope the appeal of characters like Princess Leia and Rey will help fuel greater participation in science and math, especially among girls, around the world,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Computer science has helped shape our legacy and changed the way movies are made, which is why programs like the Hour of Code are so important to us.”
In addition to the lesson, role models and technologists, including Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Rachel Rose, a senior R&D engineer working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Charita Carter, senior creative producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, have provided short video lectures to help students through the one-hour activity.
“Millions of us have been transported to a galaxy far, far away thanks to the creativity of the team behind Star Wars. Every one of us, especially young boys and girls, should also have the chance to learn how to power our own creativity with computer science,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org. “Code.org is honored to have the support of Disney and Star Wars on the Hour of Code, making it possible for students everywhere to experience firsthand how this foundational field opens new doors, and can be a lot of fun too.”
“Disney is driven by storytelling and technology — and we know that kids introduced to computer science today will become the innovators and storytellers of tomorrow,” said Jimmy Pitaro, co-chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “We are honored to be working with Code.org again this year to introduce millions of students to coding, which is becoming one of the most important languages of their generation.”
In addition to partnering with Code.org to make the Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code tutorial available for free in more than 180 countries, The Walt Disney Company is donating $100,000 to support Code.org’s efforts to bring computer science education to afterschool programs throughout the United States. One lucky classroom will win the grand prize — a trip to San Francisco, Calif. for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes “Making of Star Wars” experience with the visual effects team who worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The grand prize is courtesy of ILMxLAB, a new laboratory for immersive entertainment, combining the talents of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Sphero, a company that participated in the 2014 Disney Accelerator, will also be gifting programmable BB-8 droids to 100 participating classrooms. HP Inc has also donated Star Wars Special Edition Notebook devices to 10 participating teachers. And during Computer Science Education Week in December, Disney will host an Hour of Code event for local students at their Los Angeles office, and Disney VoluntEARS will support Hour of Code events around the world.
Try a preview of the Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code tutorial now on Code Studio (coming soon to Disney.com), and sign up to participate in this year’s Hour of Code event!
Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code!