Raspberry Pi-based DIY STEAM Kits for Kids to Create, Build and Program

25 October 2018
The sensor kit allows children to learn how to code with different types of sensors. Source: Piper

Piper has launched three do-it-yourself STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) kits based on Raspberry Pi for children aged 7 years and above.

The kits allow kids to create, build and program physical devices such as a customizable game controller, light emitting diode (LED) light display and different types of sensors. Each kit provides access to different story mode adventures where kids learn through “Minecraft”-like experiences, Piper said.

The Raspberry Pi controller includes Piper’s own programming environment, a learn-to-code software that teaches kids to program with real circuits and breadboarding. Called PiperCode, the software that runs on the Raspberry Pi is based on Google’s block-based coding language Blockly and contains a library of coding challenges with circuitry.

“Piper gives kids an opportunity to become creators rather than consumers, and launches kids into the orbit of product design, computer science, engineering, and technology-based problem solving,” said Dr. Joel Sadler, co-founder of Piper.

The three kits include Command Center, Sensor Explorer and Light Show.

Command Center lets children shape a handheld game controller that they assemble while learning about how electronic components such as switches, buttons and joysticks work. The STEAM kit teaches kids how to design games, animate scenes and draw characters. The Command Center also integrates an Arduino MCU for open-source prototyping.

The Sensor Explorer kit includes a color sensor, temperature sensor and ultrasonic rangefinder to teach children how sensors work on the inside while giving them access to explore their real-world environment.

Finally, Light Show teaches children how LEDs work and allows them to code and create their own light show projects.

The kits run between $29 to about $60 and will be available on Amazon in November of this year.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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