A DIY computer kit that's a fun, accessible computer science teacher

Summary:A new kit aims to get kids coding, but first they build their own computer.

In the United States, computer science literacy is low considering how important computers have become in so many aspects of life and across numerous industries. A recent push saw one organization introduce millions of U.S. students to computer programming , who then wrote hundreds of millions of lines of code.

But a new product aims to teach kids (and adults) the basics of building their own computer and coding.

Kano is a build-your-own mini-computer kit, like the Erector Set of the digital age, that uses Raspberry Pi, a small, cheap complete computer built on a single circuit board. Once the computer is built, Kano has its own operating system, built on Debian Linux, that allows users to hack games like Pong and Minecraft and, more importantly, explore and create.

As Kano co-founder Alex Klein told TechCrunch earlier this year: "The initial idea was let’s create a simple, fun, step-by-step computer kit that anyone can use to bring a computer to life and start hacking up games, and start really feeling that sense of possibility… rather than intimidation."

But before it reaches the masses, the Kano took to Kickstarter 

 

With only a few minutes left on its Kickstarter campaign, Kano has already shattered its goal of $100,000 and raised more than $1.5 million. And its more than 13,000 backers include some big names like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler. 

Plans are for Kano to go on the market next summer.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter.

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