I’m looking for a kickass Birthday Present for my 11 year old. He knows how to program on Scratch. He has a Sphero Spark Edu (which he plays with sometimes) and his own Chromebook. We have an iMac at home. I want to get him a programming kit that he can have fun with immediately. I am happy to buy a kit that has lots of addons.
No soldering at this time. He can learn to do that a little later.
As a reference, I have a CR-10 3D printer at home and I use 3D printers at work for prototyping.
If he has been using scratch the best board to move to to start doing a little more in the BBC micro:bit. There is a wealth of information on the Microbit site and kits for everything from circuits to a robots.
I would also recommend the Circuit Playground Express. This is a bit more fun than the Microbit, and its programmed the exact same way. Plus we have an online workshop and tutorials on how to use it:
It really depends on what you want to build as far as what goes with it. He will be able to do many projects with the board alone. There is a great robotics add on called the CRICKIT which would allow him to build a robot:
The Circuit Playground Express Looks Sweet. So that’s a definite. The Adafruit CRICKIT add looks sweet to. Can you recommend a list of items to connect to it so he can try motors, and sensors that are compatible.
Also are power supplies including with these boards as I have forgotten them in the past.
Power supplies are not included. You can use a battery pack:
or just power from the USB.
There a lot of sensors on-board the Circuit Playground Express, so he will have plenty to work with initially. If you decide to get the CRICKIT, here are some great companion parts that are compatible:
Two of these:
Two of these:
One of these:
If you get the CRICKIT, you will need a bigger battery pack:
You can always add more later, but this would be enough to build a simple robot and have some extra lights. Adafruit has many guides on using the CRICKIT to make robots and projects, here is a fun one!