How Google’s ‘Project Bloks’ toys can teach kids to code


Google wants to help kids learn how to code, so now it’s launching a hardware platform for kids (and curious) adults to learn the principles of code. It’s called Project Bloks.

There are three components to the experience.

The Brain Board houses a processing unit based off of Raspberry Pi Zero, both controlling and providing power to the rest of the connected units. It can also interact with WiFi and Bluetooth devices.

Meanwhile, the ‘Base Boards’ are connective units that let you design instruction flows.

The Pucks are the fun bits you directly interact with, shaped like switched, arrows, buttons, dials and more. These can be programmed to do things from turning things on or off, moving avatars, playing music, or more.

You can also record instructions from multiple pucks into a single one. As they have no active electric components, they can be made from a variety of inexpensive materials, including something as simple as paper with conductive ink.

That’s a good thing, as the whole aim with Project Blocks is to get code into more children’s hands. It’s early days for the program, but Google will be testing a reference design at a small group of schools. If it catches on, expect the program to expand.


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