This week, unveiled a Star Wars-themed computer science tutorial featuring Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 as well as Rey and BB-8 from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This online lesson kicks off the third-annual global campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, 2015.
I am a mother who homeschools my two boys and each year, my children participate in The Hour of Code. Code.org’s vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Not only are my boys learning about computer programming, they are having so much fun in the process.
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. 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. Students will also be able to play their completed games on smartphones, and share them with friends and family through a unique link.
My 5th grade son found it not only easy to understand, but did not want to stop until he finished all 15 puzzles. For the last puzzle, he was able to program his own Star Wars game using R2-D2 and Stormtroopers. He then emailed me a link so I can play, too! “I really liked creating my own game,” said Henson Wolf, 5th grader. “Learning how functions work in the earlier puzzles helped me a lot, otherwise I couldn’t control the character’s entrances.”
The Hour of Code is designed not only for beginner and younger students, it is also great for high school students. Arnie Wolf, 9th grader, told me what he liked about programming, “I loved how I could change the characters of my game because of coding. In fact, I added 40 Stormtroopers for a challenging level in my game.”
There are two versions of the introductory tutorial: one introduces for the first time in a Code.org lesson, and lets them create a game in their Internet browser using Code.org’s unique blocks-to-text programming environment. For beginner and younger students, a tablet-friendly drag-and-drop version will be available in the next few weeks.
You can see a beta version of “Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” lesson here. And don’t forget to sign up to participate in this year’s Hour of Code event: http://HourOfCode.com.
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