In March, tech startup littleBits announced the Code Kit, which would make it a little easier to teach kids how to code, both at home and in the classroom. Today, the Code Kit is finally on sale for a price of $300 (educators can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a 5 percent discount). Code Kits are aimed at ages 8 and up -- third through eighth graders -- and the company estimates that one kit is good for three people.
The Code Kit puts an emphasis on fun, rather than learning -- while the final goal is to teach kids how to code, littleBits aims to do so by showing kids that it doesn't have to be boring. The Code Kit comes with 16 bits, from a pressure sensor to a slide dimmer, and 32 accessories, such as screws, USB power adapters and a mechanical arm; the idea is to give kids the resources to make four different games.
Kids program their games though a free app, and coding is based on Google Blockly. The bits are also reusable, so kids can improvise once they've built the games in the box. It's an attempt to teach kids the value of STEM and STEAM to encourage interest in tech and engineering.
The Code Kit is designed for use at home or at school, though littleBits' classroom aims are apparent: It was designed in consultation with 29 educators and comes with comprehensive educator resources. It's clear that littleBits wants to make it as easy as possible for teachers to use the product in their classrooms; hopefully they can help reiterate the importance of STEAM education in our schools today.