With the Third Annual Hour of Code on December 7 - 13, the Seattle-based computer science education non-profit, Code.org, has partnered with Disney, Lucasfilm and Microsoft to create new “Star Wars” and “Minecraft” themed tutorials to teach children basic coding skills. The Hour of Code campaign, which coincides with Computer Science Education Week, aims to promote computer science education by encouraging students to complete a one-hour coding tutorial. Since its founding in 2013, more than 100 million people have participated in an Hour of Code tutorial.
Early versions of the “Star Wars” and “Minecraft” themed tutorials are available now at Code.org. In the “Star Wars” tutorial, students partner with characters Princess Leia and Rey to build a game. In the “Minecraft” tutorial, students complete 14 different challenges that teach simple commands using a drag-and-drop format. The “Star Wars” tutorial comes a month before the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” while a “Minecraft” themed tutorial, based on the popular world-building game, has been the most requested by Code.org students. Both Disney and Microsoft provided developers to help create the tutorials.
This has not been the first time Code.org has used popular games or movies in their tutorials. Last year, Code.org created a “Frozen” themed tutorial where students learned basic code to draw snowflakes and snowmen. The “Frozen” tutorial, utilizing the characters Anna and Elsa, along with the recent “Star Wars” tutorial, is a strategic move by Code.org to encourage women and minorities to overcome an unconscious bias against computer science and to join the tech community, an industry that is traditionally dominated by white men.
Foster Pepper attorney Steve Fisher negotiated the licensing deals for Code.org with Disney, Lucasfilm and Microsoft for the new tutorials. Foster Pepper has done a variety of work for Code.org since its founding in 2013, including negotiating celebrity endorsements, character rights, such as Anna, Elsa, Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies, as well as contracting with major school districts throughout the US. Learn more about our work on behalf of Code.org here.
Click here for more information about the “Star Wars” tutorial.
Click here for more information about the “Minecraft” tutorial.