Anyone can build a computer. That’s the mission statement of Kano, which is a kit for kids that teaches the basics of computers and a little bit of coding.
You might have heard of Kano from their successful Kickstarter campaign last year. They raised 1.5 million dollars to produce these boxes that have everything you need to build a simple computer, except a screen.
The kit comes with a Raspberry Pi 2 board, a wireless keyboard, Micro SD card, a Wi-Fi USB dongle, HMDI cable, power plug, a case, a DIY speaker, and some options for customizing your case.
It only takes a few minutes to put Kano together, and kit comes with instructions on what gets plugged in where. One word of advice– make sure the keyboard is charged before you get started.
After you’ve assembled the computer, you actually get to code with it.
Kano lets you code a few applications like Snake and Pong. There are other apps for making music, art, and one that introduces you to terminal commands.
Along those lines, the Kano manuals are really well designed, and they express things simply. For example, the Raspberry Pi board is the computer’s brain and coding is how you tell it to think.
Kano will run you $150. Sure, you could probably cobble together a board, cables, keyboard, etc., but getting a box with everything in it, plus a kid-friendly version of Linux is so much easier.
And, they give you stickers to put on the case.
Who doesn’t like stickers?