I can’t believe how fast time flies. It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was waffling on about the CrowPi2 from the clever chaps and chapesses at Elecrow but — in fact — it was way back in the mists of time we used to call last summer (see There’s No Need to Eat CrowPi2 and The CrowPi2 is Like STEM on Steroids).
Well, the little scamps at Elecrow have been beavering away in the background because today they launched a new Crowbits Kickstarter and — even though it’s been running only a couple of hours — they’ve already received pledges of $19,000+ toward their original $10,000 goal.
As we see in this video, Crowbits are (take a deep breath) programmable, LEGO-compatible, magnetically-coupled electronic blocks to facilitate kids in their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities.
I know for myself that I like to see something happening as soon as possible, so I really appreciate the way in which you can connect the blocks and start playing out of the box without having to code anything (I can only imagine the satisfying “snap” sound as the blocks magnetically connect). This will get kids interested from the get-go, after which you can introduce the concept of programming using the accompanying “Letscode” software that provides a drag-and-drop graphical interface for creating programs and uploading them to the blocks.
Do you remember my chum John and his penchant for LEGO Star Wars models (see Savor the Day!)? I bet he would love to lay his hands on a Crowbits kit, but which one? I started off thinking I wanted only the Master kit, but then I saw what was in the Explorer, Inventor, and Creator kits.
I think the simplest solution would be to get one of each. Unfortunately, I can’t justify getting them for myself, and my 26-year-old son has no interest in electronics or computing whatsoever (he likes using technology, just not experimenting with it; I cry myself to sleep every night), but if I had any kids scampering around the house, I would buy one or more of these kits like a shot. How about you? Could you be tempted to splash the cash on one of these bodacious beauties?