I’m always on the lookout for new tools to help with my summer tech camps, and the folks over at Dexter Industries may very well have a hit on their hands with their new Kickstarter, Spy vs sPi. The Spy vs sPi project is designed to teach kids how to code by dropping them into a game that involves protecting their valuable jewel from other spies.
Spies will learn to program using the GrovePi, a plug-and-play version of Raspberry Pi microcomputer that makes it easy to connect devices such as light sensors, motion sensors, buzzers, and other digital accessories. Younger players will learn to code using Scratch, the free programming tool developed at MIT. More advanced students can begin the game by learning to program with Python.
Students learn by participating in missions. Missions can be tackled individually or in teams. Students can receive missions in two ways. The first is Cyber Missions, online challenges that students access through a private portal. Dexter Industries recommends two computers for this–one to access the details of the missions and coding instructions and the other to connect to the GrovePi and perform the programming tasks using Scratch or Python.
Students can also participate in Spy vs. sPi using the second method of learning–printed material that provides the mission details and programming instructions.
Dexter Industries is planning on getting the Spy vs. sPi hardware and training materials out by December, so this could be a great gift for a budding engineer or coder that will provide hours and hours of activities while school is out. Even better, teachers will have access to a great STEAM resource for during or after school gatherings when the new year begins.
Check out the Kickstarter project’s official page and watch the video–the missions look very fun! Dexter Industries has a solid reputation for delivering some great educational projects, so there shouldn’t be any concerns about their ability to deliver on Spy vs. sPi. If you have questions, however, you’ve got time to send them over to DI. The fundraising ends on November 4, 2016, so don’t wait too long!