theodp writes: Eliminating Star Wars items and videogames from classrooms, suggests a widely-publicized research paper entitled Computing Whether She Belongs: Stereotypes Undermine Girls’ Interest and Sense of Belonging in Computer Science, "may play a significant role in communicating a feeling of belonging to girls and help to reduce current gender disparities in STEM courses." But now — just a month after the New York Times repeated the warnings of the dangers of Star Wars in the classroom — tech billionaire-backed Code.org has announced a partnership with Lucasfilm to make Star Wars videogame-themed coding tutorials available to every U.S. classroom during this December's Hour of Code (a week before The Force Awakens premieres) in an effort to encourage more girls to code. Which certainly seems to contradict the conventional unconscious bias wisdom. "Items such as stacked soda cans, Star Trek and Star Wars images and paraphernalia, video game boxes, comics, science fiction books, electronics, and computer parts communicate a lower sense of belonging to women than men," explains the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). "Attracting more female high school students to computer science classes might be as easy as tossing out the Star Wars posters," NCWIT added in an Aug. 29th Facebook post. So, why was NCWIT dissing Star Wars in the classroom at the same time its partner Code.org was working on the mother-of-all Star Wars classroom events? Well, it could simply be that NCWIT was clueless about the Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code project. "We began the work at the beginning of the summer," explained Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi, "and due to Lucasfilm’s strict requirements on secrecy we had only a few people at Code.org who even knew about the project, and they had to work in a locked room with no windows so that nobody else could find out." By the way, a cynic might suggest that Lucasfilm and Disney — which provided the Code.org Frozen-themed tutorial used by President Obama last year — might have 435 million good reasons for wanting to see more kids code.