In an effort to bring coding to an ever-larger group of kids and students, Code.org partnered with Lucasfilm as part of its annual Hour of Code event. Code.org this week launched a free online tutorial featuring characters from the upcoming film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" who prompt kids to learn to code and build their own games.
In the tutorial, Princess Leia and Rey, the new film's female lead, guide students through various lessons and help them design games using other Star Wars characters, such as R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Code.org founder Hadi Partovi says the decision to have female characters anchor the tutorial is part of Code.org's efforts to bring more girls and minorities into computer science. "One of the most important things for us is to make computer science more popular, to broaden participation, and get students of all ages and all backgrounds to give it a shot," Partovi says.
The organization already has had considerable success, as 40 percent of the 5 million students currently registered on Code.org are girls and another 40 percent are black or Hispanic.
Last year's tutorial was completed more than 13 million times, and Code.org expects nearly four times as many people to take part this year.
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