The world of computer design and programming often seems far away in Silicon Valley, but SDMS students will soon get a chance to find out that, in reality, that world is here, and now. Ms. Capwell recently got the components to build basic computers and some invention kits that encourage creativity and an understand of electronics and circuitry. Instead of relying on technology designed for consumption, like tablets or smartphones, this project will get kids designing and creating, igniting their inner maker to engage with technology, rather than passively watching or merely playing with it.
You might be wondering, "Raspberry Pie? Bananas?" As it turns out, only one of these projects uses actual fruit. Students will be building a computer from scratch parts, with a RaspberryPi. This is an affordable, credit-card sized computer that works with basic components. The MaKey MaKey invention kits will allow kids to experiment making a basic circuit controller out of anything - bananas included - to control software and apps on their computers. Kids will build and code these devices themselves, sparking a greater interest in technology and bringing a sense of pride and accomplishment.
One of the most exciting things about this project is that it was crowd-funded through Donors Choose. Several people who donated to this project cited their own youthful experiments with technology as leading to more interesting career paths (many in computer sciences), and were excited to support the technological explorations of SDMS students.