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TI's educational coding tool plugs into your calculator

It's a pretty cool way to learn coding and engineering.
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Despite all the phones and tablets out there, Texas Instruments' graphing calculators continue to survive. The company's latest classroom tool even turns them into a device that can teach kids coding and engineering. TI-Innovator Hub plugs into the company's graphing calculators a lot of middle- and high-school students already have. It's a palm-sized board with a microcontroller that gives kids a way to build simple engineering projects. They could make LEDs light up, play notes or make small toys move by plugging the components into the hub and writing a program on the calculator.

It transforms TI's calculator into a pretty cool toy, and based on the video below, it looks like kids find it fun. "Before, I really wasn't interested in what programming was. But after I started working with the Innovator, it was like a whole new world was opened," one eighth grader named Jasmine Jones-Pas said. As a nice plus, it's enclosed in a durable case, since the hub was designed for kids. The bad news is you can't get one for yourself -- it's not out for sale online or in retail stores and is only available from instructional product dealers.

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