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Row of Computers

Power Duo: Gaming And Coding

by eSchool News

eSchool News

Article excerpt

Maker startup inspires inventors through Minecraft in the Classroom

Piper, a startup that empowers budding inventors with its DIY computer kit for kids, announced $2.1 million in seed funding. The investment arrives as the company looks to expand its product offering to allow educators and students to learn about, and build creatively with technology, code and electronics.

Our take

A Trojan Horse Approach to STEM

Minecraft has been a popular game among young students for some time. Now a start-up is leveraging that popularity to teach computer skills through a hands-on approach with a product for K-12 called PiperEDU. Endorsed by Steve Wozniak, and fueled by $2.1M in seed capital, the company’s founders hope to expand the product worldwide. What does it do and could it have application in your classrooms?

PiperEDU combines coding with Minecraft, a game that many youngsters are already very familiar with. The idea is to use the already proven engagement value of the game to subtly introduce principles of engineering and programming as children conceptualize and create their own electronic tools. The kit, say its creators, is “like a Trojan horse for learning.” It’s a good example of how educators can leverage students’ natural gravitation toward technology in strategic ways.