Google aims to teach kids to code with its release of Project Bloks [VIDEO]


Project Bloks

Many tech companies are working on ways to help get the kids of today involved in programming and coding. We’ve seen Apple announce its Swift Playgrounds app which allows anyone to pick up an iPad and start coding and creating with a simple set of instructions. Now, Google is getting in on the game with Project Bloks.

Project Bloks is a new hardware platform to help others give “tangible programming experiences” to kids everywhere. d

Ultimately, our goal is to enable kids to develop computational thinking (a set of foundational problem-solving skills) from a young age through coding experiences that are playful, tactile, and collaborative.

Project Bloks components

Project Bloks consists of three major pieces: Pucks, Base Boards and the Brain Board. Pucks are different programmable buttons that can be changed depending upon the project. Base Boards are what the Pucks attach to so that you can combine different pucks together and in different ways.

Finally, the Brain Board is pretty self-explanatory. It’s the “brains” of the operation, and provides both power and connectivity. The Brain Board is actually built onto a Raspberry Pi Zero, which is $5 mini computer complete with a Mini HDMI port, and USB ports.

Here are some examples of what can be built with Project Bloks:

  • Sensor Lab – This kit would allow you to experiment with sensors and map an input to an output, like switching on a light if the temperature dropped.
  • Music Maker – With the Music Maker you could compose a track using computational thinking by inputting different instruments, layering and looping sounds, and then playing it through a wireless speaker.
  • Coding Kit – With this kit you could put physical code together to send instructions to toys around you – like controlling a robot to create some art.

Project Bloks won’t be available for everyone to purchase. Instead, Google has bundled these pieces together to create the “Coding Kit”. The Coding Kit will be made available for testing at select schools and at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco.

Since this is still in development, Google will continue to conduct research on the project to see how to improve the experience for everyone. 

[via Project Bloks]


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