Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
We have been trying to add more STEM activities in our homeschool over the last few years. Pitsco Education has come up with some great products to make it easy to bring STEM into your schooling. We've spent the last several weeks using Code Cube Single Kit (45843) - Grades 3-5. I chose this activity even though it's geared for a younger age because we haven't done any type of coding. My son though the cube seemed fun and so we decided that grade levels don't really matter and we'd go with what seemed interesting to our son. That's the great thing about these products is that they give us recommendations on grade levels, but ultimately it's up to the parents and schools to chose what is best for the students.
The Code Cube arrived with everything we needed. It was packed in a cube shaped box with the link to the website we needed to go and the cord to connect to the computer. On the box it tells you that you can start coding in fewer than 5 minutes. That actually didn't happen for us, but it was what I would call operator error (LOL) We went straight to the website and we weren't able to get the code cube to work. After speaking to customer service we realized that this product works on Google Chrome and we were trying to use a different browser. If we had gone to the main page and read a little more on the cube we would have seen where they mention to use Chrome. That being said the customer service was great. They sent me an email with step-by-step instructions and once I went into Chrome we had no issues. They even followed up after to make sure that their information was helpful and we didn't need any additional help. One of my favorite parts about this was the free downloadable teacher's guide. It was broken down into the teacher's section and the student section. There were 10 lessons, challenge activities, a glossary, worksheets for the students to design their own images and more. The guide was written in such a way that even for those, like me, that have no idea about coding, what it really means, etc. we were able to sit down and work with the cube. My son had only one complaint about the code cube and that was that the slap band that comes with the cube didn't fit him (LOL) This cube is geared for a little younger age, but he's also a little larger guy, so the band didn't fit. That being said he really enjoyed the activities and that he was able to use their plans as a guide and make changes to them. One the first lesson he jumped right in and made a design that he wanted. That's what Pitsco Education wants is for our students to take their instructions and run with them. Technology is all about what you can make from it and where you can take what is given to you. I felt like my son was easily able to take these instructions and run with them.
The Teacher's and Student's Guides had great step-by-step instructions for us. The very first activity was called Turning On The Lights. The goal was to learn to get an image on your Code Cube. When we access the page to get started we see all of our options easily displayed.
Under the Matrix section there are many images that you can chose to use or can can actually make your own image. Issac jumped right into to making his own image. In the back of the Student Guide there are actually worksheets for the students to use to plan out their images before they start trying to make them in the matrix section. As you go into the control section you can see some of the options that are given to the students. They chose the option they want and then drag it over into the work area.
As part of this campaign through the Review Crew, Pitsco wants to give each reviewer a chance to support their many followers on social media and web sites by allowing them to register for a special giveaway of the item they are reviewing. Follow this LINK for your chance to win! For additional information or to see what new might be coming out follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. We've had some great fun with Code Cube Single Kit (45843). I think it's given my son a little taste of what you can do with coding and hopefully sparked a new interest! Our review team got the chance to check out several different idea, so go check out all the items we reviewed and see what the others made.
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