Getting kids interested in STEM fields can be a difficult thing, but a new Kickstarter wants to change that. Say hello to Makeblock Neuron, a set of modular, plug-and-play building blocks that aims to get kids interested in things like robotics, programming, and engineering in a relatively simple and engaging way.
Makeblocks are separated into four different categories: energy and communication, control, input, and output. There are a number of blocks in each category, including a few that are unique to the Makeblock brand. They all connect through pogo pins, allowing kids to connect multiple blocks together to engineer simple solutions for everyday tasks.
With 30 blocks in all (including a handful of accessories), kids can create a multitude of different projects. For instance, you can create a plant watering system using the WiFi, dual servo driver, dual DC motor driver, soil moisture sensor, and gyro sensor blocks. Beyond the functionality of the blocks themselves, they’re also compatible with Lego and Makeblock mechanical parts to take creations to another level.
Though blocks can be used in simple creations independently of software, you’ll also have the option of using the Neuron app for flow-based programming. This means you’ll have access to more advanced features like IoT and Microsoft Cognitive Services without the need to write any code. In other words, it seems like the perfect stepping stone to get kids interested in programming without overwhelming them right at the start.
The people behind Makeblock Neuron have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, and it’s already surpassed its goal of $100,000 in funding. With 42 days left to go on the campaign, we could see Makeblock Neuron secure a significant amount of money from backers.
There are four different packages available through the Kickstarter campaign. The most basic is the Light Wizard Kit, which features all of the blocks you need to make light-based projects. The tier beyond that is the Science Lab Kit, followed by the Explorer Kit, which features more high-level blocks than the other packages. Finally, a pledge of $399 or more will get you the All-in-One kit, which features all of the blocks and accessories in the Makeblock Neuron line up.
As is usually the case with Kickstarter, Makeblock is offering a significant discount on these packages over their expected retail prices if you choose to pledge to the campaign. If this sounds like something that’s up your alley, keep in mind that you only have until April 19 to pledge. For more information, hit the source link below to be taken to Makeblock Neuron’s Kickstarter page.