Disney’s Star Wars and Code.org unite to encourage kids to engage with coding

Disney has taken steps to encourage youngsters to broaden their computer science knowledge, all with the help of its cast of Star Wars characters.

Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Rey and BB-8 from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force awakens will all feature in a new Star Wars-themed computer science tutorial.

In partnership with Code.org, the initiative will kick-off with an online lesson marking the start of the third annual global Hour of Code campaign, held in honour of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13 this year.

Thanks to Disney and Star wars, students will learn to write code that allows them to create fun challenges and games using Star Wars characters. Students will then be able to play their completed games on smartphones and share them with friends and family through a unique link.

Called Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code, the partnership marks the second year that Disney has worked with the group to deliver a coding tutorial featuring Disney characters.

Last year’s tutorial has now been completed 13 million times across the globe and featured the stars of Disney’s hit animation Frozen: Anna and Elsa. More than 100 million student across 180 countries have tried an Hour of Code tutorial, including one in three students in US schools, according to Code.org.

“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, Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.

“Computer science has helped shape our legacy and changed the way movies are made, which is why programmes like the Hour of Code are so important to us.”

The tutorial is supported by Star Wars: force for Change, a philanthropic initiative that harnesses the strength of Star Wars and its global fandom to empower people to come together to make a positive impact on the world around them.

“Millions of us have been transported to a galaxy far, far away thanks to the creativity of the team behind Star Wars,” added Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org.

“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.

“Code.org is honoured to have the support of Disney and Star Wars on the Hour of Code, making it possible for students everywhere to experience first hand how this foundational field opens new doors, and can be a lot of fun, too.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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