TechCrunch: Gift Guide – STEM Toys for your Builders-in-Training
TechCrunch has put together it’s annual STEM toy gift guide to entice and inspire kids with “coding tricks and electronic wizardry”.
KIBO is included in the guide for its focus on not only teaching STEM skills, but also for teaching creative skills, as well as being screen-free. Their findings about KIBO:
This definitely feels like one of the more substantial and thoughtful STEM products on the market. It’s also great to see a product that leaves room for kids to introduce their own ideas.
“KinderLab has been making screen-free programmable STEAM (that ‘A’ is for arts) robotics kits since 2014 but the company is now making a wider push to get individual parents on board by selling its kits on Amazon. How does KIBO work? Kids play and learn by plugging a variety of proprietary sensors and outputs into ports on the wheeled bot. Such as motion and light sensors. Another add-on, which company calls an “art platform”, lets kids embellish and customize the robot by designing paper hats to stick on it to dress it in a new context or character. The coding element comes in via a built in barcode scanner that’s used to read instructions off of physical wooden code blocks. This means kids can ‘program’ the robot without using any screens at all.
KinderLab’s approach to teaching foundational engineering design concepts began life as a publicly funded research project. The company says KIBO draws on 20 years of learning science (as well as several years of active prototype testing in classrooms) to firm up its educational value. The academic backstory means there’s a wealth of curriculum-aligned content accompanying KIBO. This definitely feels like one of the more substantial and thoughtful STEM products on the market. It’s also great to see a product that leaves room for kids to introduce their own ideas.
See the full gift guide.