MakePi has launched MakePad, the only tablet that children can build themselves and then use to learn how to code. The device allows kids to shape their own technological experience from beginning to end. It is now available on Kickstarter, with super early birds starting at $199 USD.
Unlike most coding kits for children, MakePad teaches kids not just how to code, but also how to mechanically build their own tablet. Kids assemble the parts and connect colored cables to build their own device through easy to follow visual instructions. Once they turn it on, they’ll see the interface developed for Raspberry Pi and will be able to engage with a variety of STEM applications. With a curriculum based on P21’s framework for 21st Century Skills, teachers can use lesson plans to engage students with essential abilities for tomorrow's job market.
“We use technology everyday, but very few of us could actually open up a computer and understand how it works,” said CEO and Co-founder César Martins. “MakePad introduces kids to the workings of technology by allowing them to assemble a device with their own hands and then learn to code on the device.”
The MakePad story began with one simple mission: To make the learning of code possible for everyone. The MakePad team are also enthusiastic proponents of the ‘maker culture—a movement which encourages a DIY approach to designing, building, creating and learning.
For example, the app MakeMods challenges children to make mods in Minecraft applications using the visual languages Blockly and Python. Another app, MakeMusic, teaches children to code by guiding them through the creation of digital music.
Each of MakePad’s STEM applications are held in fun “planets”. Planets cover a huge variety of topics from Coding Planet where kids go to develop their coding skills, to Art Planet which features drawing and painting apps, to Web Planet where children have access to the internet. Other planets include Games Planet, Web Planet, Music Planet, and App Planet.
“We asked children what type of device they would most like to work with and the answer was overwhelmingly a tablet,” said Martins. “MakePad is truly built with kids for kids. It gives them applicable, hands on experience shaping their own technology and coding their own experiences, creating valuable skills for the future.”
MakePad will be available on Kickstarter for $249 USD. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.