Screenless Coding – indi is Bringing Coding Fun for Youngsters this September
The concept and importance of STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – is becoming increasingly more popular year over year, and parents are clamouring to find the latest and greatest STEM products, camps, and more for their kids. So many companies now advertise STEM friendly activities for kids, but in my home, we’ve found that most of these companies are profiting off the philosophy, as opposed to actually providing engaging, STEM products. Our kids are currently using the SPHERO MINI set, and we’ve been more impressed with that product than we have with the dozens of others we’ve purchased and played with over the past few months. I began looking into Sphero and their multitude of products, and was intrigued by an upcoming product launching this September, indi. Indi is a screenless robot for early learners (ages 4-7) that teaches computational thinking and problem solving without the need of an app or screen.
The reason behind creating a screenless robot for young children is built on solid logic. Here’s the rational from Sphero themselves,
Problem-solving, or the ability to think critically to overcome a challenge, is not only an important educational lesson, but a vital life skill that is ideal to teach kids early in their childhood development. Learning tools, like Sphero programmable robots, are a fun way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills to kids, especially when they are as young as four years old.
With young kids in my house that fall into this age range, it’s good to see a product tailored and marketed for them. Returning to the heap of products sitting in the corner of my living room, so many of those are marketed as “all ages experiences,” which is generally incorrect. They are either too advanced (most common issue) or lack real STEM qualities, and are lacklustre and boring. Sphero has a wide range of products for all ages, which means I can order what I want, for my kids age range. And now indi will complete the spectrum.
On the surface, indi seems really basic – the robot drives over coloured cards and changes it’s driving patter and speed based on the colour it scans as it drives. But when you expand that to providing problems, it becomes interesting. “Can you make it from A to B, through these various obstacles, using the provided colours?” See, problem solving, what the development team had in mind when creating this product. Here’s more from Sphero:
The color card programming is an interactive experience that allows kids to move freely and continuously collaborate, while learning the basics of problem solving, cause and effect, and computational thinking.
With kids in the age range of this product, we really cannot wait to check it out this September – it’s currently available for pre-order right now, so head over to the Sphero website and check it out!