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CoDrone Lite

Lower Age: 10+
Website: https://shop.robolink.com/products/codrone-lite
Price: $119.99
Year Added: 2017

CoDrone Lite is a basic aerial drone building kit for children ages 10 and up that teaches basic programming skills through visual data flow programming, allowing children to manipulate elements of code graphically. Included with the kit is a CoDrone unit, a battery and charger, extra propellers, and a Bluetooth-capable pre-made circuit board. By going to the Robolink website, children can access 13 free coding tutorials that guide them through the process of using commands to control their drone. To program their drone using movement commands, children must also download a free app available through the Robolink website. This app, a visual coding platform proprietary to CoDrone, will be simple enough for experienced programmers to pick up and use, but the simplicity of the interface is more intended as a jumping-off point for first-time coders, allowing CoDrone Lite to serve as a powerful learning tool. Once the lessons have been completed, the website provides seven challenges for children to complete using their drone. Children are challenged to create a plan for their design and work through multiple iterations to improve their solution and complete the tasks. As they use the visual coding platform to “snap” virtual chunks of code together, they have the chance to develop and apply their programming abilities and logical thinking skills to each specified problem. CoDrone Lite provides the means for both new and moderately experienced coders to see their algorithms physically come to life!

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem, ask questions about the problem, make observations, learn about the problem, idea generation, plan a solution, try the solution, create a prototype or process, test the solution, analyze a solution, redesign a solution, make improvements to their solution, refine ideas, recognize patterns, optimize their solution

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: NA

 

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Coding, computational thinking, programming, problem solving, perseverance, logical thinking

 

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating:  NA
    • Feedback:
      • “It has exciting features.” M, 12
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “It was really cool that he got to put together a drone and code it in order to fly it.” parent of a 12-year-old
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “This drone helps children think of a way to code their robot using computer science. This promotes engineering in a way that kids learn how to design a solution and problem solving on how to control the robot by programming.”
      • “This toy is good at teaching programming skills and allows kids to explore their own problems and come up with and improve their solutions.”