The force is strong with Star Wars, Disney Infinity and Hour of Code

While I’m excited to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my daughter, Teagan, is increasingly drifting into the force as well. In honor of Computer Science Education Week (December 7-13, 2015), Disney held an Hour of Code global campaign with the non-profit Code.org (code.org). The event was held on Monday, December 7, at the Disney Interactive HQ (headquarters). Teagan was thrilled to work on a “build-your-own-game” tutorial, where she learned to code with the help of a few Code.org engineers, Disney executives, and tech employees. Sixty-five kids from the local Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Inc., and TXT: Teens Exploring Technology were invited to explore the world of game programming and technology.

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There’s been a push to incorporate curriculum devoted to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and STEAM (enhanced by art) within our educational system, as well as, local clubs. I think that’s a fabulous idea especially, considering I may have a future scientist on my hands. I was thrilled watching all of the kids, including with my 8 year-old Teagan learn how to write code and build their own video game, using Code.org’s Star Wars coding tutorial. During the fun Star Wars tutorial, kids “officially” join the force, assisting Rey on a mastermind space mission to guide BB-8 (from the upcoming film Star Wars: The ForceAwakens).

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Although she’s young, Teagan tried the coding and was able to figure out prior to watching the Star Wars tutorial. Throughout the tutorial, Disney techs and Code.org engineers offered tips to all of the young programmers. Teagan surprised me and a few others by completing the tutorial well before the hour was up! In fact, Teagan received a Certificate of Completion. Did we have fun? Of course, Disney invited a few special guests to the Hour of Code event. From Star Wars, R2-D2 and Chewbacca, attended, along with Disney Channel’s Karan Brar (“Ravi” on Disney Channel’s Bunk’d and Jessie) and Disney XD’s Sophie Reynolds (“Ashley” on Disney XD’s Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything). We also heard inspiring stories of how different Disney executives landed in the tech world of coding. Much like the “force awakens” millions, this Hour of Code awakened and introduced a new generation to the technology world. I’m happy Teagan and I were there to celebrate this occasion.

For more information visit https://code.org/starwars.

About Hour of Code: The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

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