Saturday, November 21, 2020

Consumer Critique: KIBO Home Edition

I teach math and my kids are very interested in science, so I was happy to get a chance to try out a KIBO Home Edition! robot for a few weeks. It's a screen-free way to get kids introduced to the elements of coding, and even though it's targeted towards kids a little younger than my own, we still had fun with it!

The robot is easy to assemble (it just involves snapping wheels and sensors into place) and easy to use right off the bat. Because of its shiny surface, kids can have fun decorating it using whiteboard markers. Programming is a breeze - little barcoded squares are scanned, and the robot follows instructions. Kids can explore what happens with each command, and then parents can set up challenges for kids to try to accomplish.

KIBO is a great way to introduce STEM concepts to kids. Even if they aren't headed for a career in science or math, working on coding activities like the KIBO can help build logic and problem-solving skills. The fact that you can expose kids to coding without them looking at a screen is a huge plus.

Their website has quite a few STEM activities for elementary school kids that use the KIBO and supplies that are easy to find around the home. There are also easy ways to implement it in a school setting (a great early start in coding and robotics, especially for schools that have robotics clubs for older kids.

You can learn more about founder Dr. Marina Bers' efforts to get youth into programming, and see a demo of the KIBO, in the videos below.

KIBO Home Edition is available for a limited time, during the 2020 holiday season, on the KinderLab Robotics web store (limit 1 per customer).
· The KIBO 10 Home Edition, for $149, contains the KIBO robot, its wheels and motors, and scannable cards for creating KIBO programs.
· The KIBO 15 Home Edition, for $199, adds KIBO’s light bulb and sound sensor modules and additional commands, expanding the engineering and programming options, as well as a wooden art stage to enhance the storytelling and imaginative play possibilities.

The KIBO Home Edition is also fully compatible with the wide range of extensions and add-on sensors, modules, and parts available from KinderLab Robotics, so KIBO can continue to grow as the child grows.

Learn more about the KIBO Home Edition line of products.

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