May the code be with you: Teaching code with Star Wars
Publication date: May 4, 2023
Are you struggling to get your students excited about coding? Have you tried all the usual approaches, but still can’t seem to spark their interest? Don’t give up hope just yet – you might just need to tap into the power of the Force.
That’s right, we’re talking about Star Wars. This beloved science fiction franchise has captured the imaginations of generations of fans, and it turns out that it can be a powerful tool for teaching coding to students. Here are just a few reasons why.
The power of metaphors
One of the challenges of teaching coding to beginners is finding a way to explain complex concepts in a way that they can understand. That’s where metaphors come in. By using metaphors that are familiar and relatable, you can help students grasp abstract concepts more easily.
And what’s more familiar and relatable than Star Wars? From the Jedi Order to the Empire, the Star Wars universe is full of rich metaphors that can be used to introduce coding concepts. For example, you could explain variables by comparing them to different lightsabre colours, or demonstrate loops by having students programme BB-8 to navigate a maze.
Another way to engage students in coding is to give them fun and challenging projects to work on. And what’s more fun and challenging than recreating scenes from Star Wars? For example, you could have students create a programme that generates random Star Wars character names, or challenge them to create a simple game where the player must guide a spaceship through an asteroid field using basic coding concepts. By framing coding challenges in the context of Star Wars, you can help students see coding as a fun and rewarding pursuit. To help you with this, Code.org has developed a Star Wars coding project that can be as simple or as complex as students want to make it. You can also check out this Hour of Code video about building your own Star Wars game that will teach the basic concepts of programming.
Making learning fun
Of course, the ultimate goal of using Star Wars to teach coding is to make learning more fun and engaging for students. By tapping into their love of the Star Wars universe, you can help students stay motivated and enthusiastic about coding, even when they encounter challenges or setbacks.
But, as the EU Code Week community knows well, there’s more to it than just making coding fun – learning to code also has real-world benefits. It helps develop problem-solving skills, improves logical reasoning, and can even open up new career opportunities. By using Star Wars to introduce coding, you’re not just making learning more fun – you’re also giving students a valuable skill that can help them succeed in the future. May the code be with you!