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The Piper Computer Kit is a fantastic way for children to explore and engage in their interests in computer science, electronics, and coding. As a future educator, I believe that students would enjoy this computer kit because it allows them to explore and learn about electronics hands on. This kit allows you to build a fully operational computer and once the computer is set up, you are able to explore STEM through a series of steps and levels that you do while playing a game. This game is specifically designed to be played on the Piper computer that your student/child just assembled.
The Piper Computer Kit comes in pieces and it is up to the student/child to assemble the computer. I definitely believe that this kit should be used for children 8 and up because it could be confusing for younger children. For very young children there are some parts that could present as a choking hazard.
I have spent a great deal of my life around computers. I enjoy working with software and tech journalism. I absolutely loved working with this device and enjoyed putting it together. I do believe that some of this kit is a little difficult for a non technical person to put together let alone a child, but I think any child will be able to do this with help from a parent.
Overall I am very happy with this kit. I think it is a great learning tool for children to use if they find an interest in building and electronics early on. It is completely safe and does not have any sharp edges that could hurt them. The blueprints that come with the kit are pretty self explanatory for a child to put together and the game is fun and interactive.
One con is about the lessons the Piper Computer Kit teaches. When the game wants to throw a new switch or light in the mix, a video plays with the basic steps of what to do. You follow along the instructions and make everything match what is presented in the blueprint and the game. You can see (not always clearly) where the wires connect the Raspberry Pi processor, breadboard, switch, and LEDs while you are working to complete the assigned tasks. The thing that was difficult when exploring the game was that it doesn't clearly state what a breadboard is and was very unclear how to insert the switches or LEDs into specific locations which can lead to confusion and frustration.
The Piper Computer Kit (MSRP $299.00)
Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies