Learn with Tech Kits
Not sure what to do in Do Space? Looking for a special activity for your visit? Now you can check out a tech kit inside Do Space to learn and explore technology on your own. Filled with tech toys from robots to mini programmable computers, these kits are intended to be interactive for use by one person, a couple or a whole group. Designed to be with played on your own, these kits include how-to instructions and ideas to encourage members to become hackers of the kits and tech inside.
To check out a tech kit, simply select and open the kit that interests you, bring the kit box to the Tech Help Desk to get the content of the kit. An adult-signed Technology Borrower Agreement will need to be on file. A photo ID will also be required.
Arduino is open-source electronic prototyping platform allowing you to create interactive electronic objects. Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (often referred to as a micro-controller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment), that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board. The Arduino platform has become quite popular with people just starting out with electronics.
Bee-Bots are small floor robots that can be easily programmed by young children. Command buttons direct the robots in 6-inch forward and backward moves or 90-degree turns. Grid-like mats are provided with the kits so parents and kids can can combine sequencing and problem solving with general literacy.
This new toy from Fisher-Price should be a big hit with our Littles Lab programmers. The Code-a-Pillar is made up of USB-connectable segments. Each segment has a particular function: forward, right, left, sound, etc. Put the segments together in the order you want the Code-a-Pillar to move. The kit includes Start and Stop targets to make the programming into a game.
Cubelets allow you to make different robots with the combination of Lego blocks. Simply connect the blocks together, turn on the power cube and watch your creation come alive.
Cubetto moves like Bee Bot, a Littles Lab regular, but instead of programming with buttons on the robot, Cubetto has a program board and colorful blocks. Kids learn about sequencing, debugging programs, functions, and more. Perfect for preschoolers but lots of fun for early elementary students as well.
DASH & DOT
Dash is a real robot, charged and ready to play out of the box. Responding to voice, navigating objects, dancing, and singing, Dash is the robot you always dreamed of having. Use Wonder, Blockly, and other apps to create new behaviors for Dash — doing more with robotics than ever possible. No books or camps needed!
DA VINCI MINI MAKER 3D PRINTERS
It’s small enough for you to take to a corner or table at Do Space and learn how to use a 3D printer. The build size is 6″ x 6″ x 6″ so it’s great for smaller objects. There are fewer settings to get hung up on for your first time. It has three that correspond to layer height and speed which covers the basics for most prints. There’s also options for supports, brim, and infill which you can dive into for more difficult 3D models once you get more comfortable with the machine.
GoldieBlox Builder’s Survivor Kit and Craft-Struction Kit are a great STEM toy. GoldieBlox helps foster spatial and building skills. They also teach introductory skills in physics and logic. In addition to building skills, there are stories, characters and plotlines that go with these projects.
You’ve heard about virtual reality (VR), and now you can experience it for free at Do Space by checking out one of our Google Cardboard headset tech kits. It’s easy to get started. Install Google Cardboard apps on your own phone, and you are ready to explore virtual worlds.
While our Raspberry Pi tech kits have been popular with adults who know what they can do with one, the experience with younger members has been mixed. The Kano Kit is a Raspberry Pi computer packaged with younger folks in mind. It comes complete with a case, speaker, color-coded wires and a keyboard for easy assembly. Once powered up, the Kano Kit includes built-in coding and storybook applications along with a Minecraft, all allowing members to easily and quickly “build” a computer and use it to learn how to build their own programs.
The Makey Makey allows you to make everyday objects (such as coins, vegetables, Play Doh, vegetables, keys, etc.) into touchpads. It’s a simple invention kit for beginners and experts.
Osmo is the combination of an iPad app and tactile game. Players collaborate to spell words, solve tangram puzzles and more. For ages 5 and up.
OSMO PIZZA CO.
Our Osmo kits are one of our most popular kits when it comes to parents looking to directly participate in their child’s learning. Our first kits mostly focused on learning letters and numbers. With Pizza Co., older children who have mastered their letters and numbers can start to learn basic concepts of taking orders (using non-verbal cues from the on-screen characters), making change and being able to keep track of multiple tasks at once. Both entertaining and challenging, this new kit allows parents with older children to have the same fun learning experience as younger children with the interactivity that the Osmo offers.
The Pine A64 is a single board computer or SBC. The Pine A64 includes a 64-bit processor allowing for a larger instruction set to support much more memory. You can test your own software creations on a multitude of platforms or test out an operating system that may be new to you. When you borrow the kit you’ll get the Pine A64, a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse.
The PocketCHIP is a handheld, all-in-one computer and game emulator with support for more than 1,000 games on a device about the size of a paperback book. What makes the PocketCHIP more than just a modern GameBoy is its built-in keyboard and PICO-8 software that gives users the ability to customize and reprogram the built-in games, teaching them both coding and game development skills.
Puzzlets combines digital and physical play to get kids thinking like programmers. Included in the kit are a game board, a tablet and stand, game pieces, and instructions. The game app Cork and the Volcano are already loaded on the tablet and ready for a hands-on coding experience.
The Raspberry Pi is a fully featured computer designed for hardware and software development. There are software packages available for several programming languages, including Java, C/C++, Python, Scratch and Assembly for the adventurous.
Snap Circuits is a collection of electronic components that use snaps to connect in different configurations based on the project you want to build. The manual includes instructions for simple light switches to more complicated audio devices. Just choose a project and follow the directions to get started. This kit is geared toward electronics beginners of all ages, but you’ll need some reading skills (or a partner).
SNAP CIRCUITS RC ROVER
For months now our Snap Circuits kits have been teaching children the basics of electronics. Our new Snap Circuits RC Car also teaches electronics but does so in a way that in the end you have a remote controlled car you can also drive around. The project comes with instructions for creating a rover with a working LED headlight and features several other configurations. Kids can also put together a rotating light, a generator, a saltwater detector and other devices. While assembling these projects, children learn about electric switches, radio reception, gear movement, Morse code and more.
Sparki is an Arduino based STEM robot to get you started in programming and basic robotics. It’s intended users range from middle school through college. It has over forty programmable parts including an LCD display, gripper, servo motors, and ultrasonic rangefinder. There are also a variety of sensors including an accelerometer, light sensor, infrared reflectance sensor, and magnetometer. To program the Sparki you can use the graphical and easier to use block-based programming or dive right into Arduino C/C++.