Build your own motherboard kit

A DIY Computer Kit Kids Can Build from the Motherboard Up
December 31, 2016 – 04:05 pm
A DIY Computer Kit Kids Can Build from the Motherboard Up - PSFK

kanokit2_psfkThis startup lets kids build their own machine, then teaches how to code on it

Powered by Raspberry Pi, Kano Computer Kit, ‘the most-crowdfunded learning invention ever’ is a deconstructed computer children can assemble themselves, picking up valuable technical skills along the way.

Complete with a brain, memory, keyboard, Wi-Fi dongle and speaker, the device connects either to a ‘kano screen, ’ separate computer screen or even a television, and comes with instructions for assembly. Once built, Kano teaches kids how to code, and encourages them to upload finished products to the web which the company showcases on their website.

Kano was created ‘for the generation that wants to create technology – not just consume it.’ This message was well received by the Kickstarter community where the product first made its headlines, raising over $1, 500, 000 USD thanks to more than 13, 000 backers. The company hit its initial funding goals of $100, 000 in under 18 hours.

“We think you learn faster and better when you have control and freedom, like in a good video game. Then, when you can bend the rules, things get kung fu… We love visual programming languages, especially Scratch, and wanted to hook them up to our favorite games. We came up with Kano Blocks, inspired by Google’s Blockly and many hours of button-mashing, ” says the Kano team on their Kickstarter campaign.

kanokit3_psfkBy connecting Kano Blocks which output Python and JavaScript, children (and adults) can observe as games change before their eyes thanks to the capability of live code updates. With an interface that features a videogame-like aesthetic, Kano runs six ‘levels, ’ which are simultaneously games and coding tutorials, all through a clever combination of the Kano OS and a distribution of Debian Linux.

It appears as if the company is keen on ‘the fun theory, ’ a tool in education to get people (especially kids) interested in doing something that otherwise appears mundane on the surface. ‘Vibrant, repackable and [not] taking itself too seriously, ’ the Kano Kit was designed to look like the founders’ favorite board games growing up. Moreover, the company invites everyone to customize their computers with stickers, decals and their own designs, or even take it apart and rebuild it into a mini-boombox with a DIY speaker powered by an amp and the Pi’s GPIO pins.

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