Here at GeekDad, we firmly believe that not all screen time is created equal. With many American schoolchildren still learning remotely, it’s easy to see their laptops—with mornings spent in Zoom calls, afternoons poring over homework, and evenings watching their favorite YouTube channels and Twitch streamers—as part of the problem.
However, this runs counter to what those of us employed in creative and tech fields already know to be true—that connected computers are also an amazing resource, an ideal solution for those with a drive to make who otherwise lack the know-how or the opportunity. That’s where today’s sponsor, QPi Kits, comes in.
QPi Kits aren’t your run-of-the-mill STEAM projects; they don’t function purely on the theoretical or tie young learners to some rudimentary coding language. Instead, they encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity to help prepare your kids not only for the job market but to thrive in an increasingly tech-driven world.
QPi Kits do this through an inspired blend of real-world interaction and ample online resources relating to systems that many of us rely on every day: the adaptable, affordable Raspberry Pi single-board computer and the general-purpose high-level programming language Python.
Learners receive in their QPi Kits the How to Make a Robot: Introductory Course in Python Programming & Electronics guidebook along with all the physical components needed to create and program Boxie, a DIY robot tailor-made for beginning coders. They’re also given access to a library of step-by-step instructional videos with live help from tech experts—each aspect rooted in pedagogical research and national curriculum standards to specifically benefit our often overlooked kinesthetic learners.
Beyond this, the QPi Kit system gamifies learning, encouraging apprentice programmers to participate in robot coding challenges against their peers, continuing student engagement by rewarding dedication and creativity.
This year’s COVID-related lockdowns have been tough for all of us, but especially young, hands-on learners who, largely cut off from the traditional classroom setting, have struggled to connect abstract learning concepts with tangible, real-world applications. Whether you’re looking to support a displaced hands-on student in need of increased educational interaction, flesh out the offerings for an existing homeschool curriculum, or simply engage a curious mind with the unlimited potential of data science and machine learning, a QPi Kit is a perfect pick-up for your holiday gift list.