Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Top Coding Kits and Gifts for Teens Aged 13+ - Expert Picks


This is our list of recommended educational coding products for teenagers aged 13+. At this age young people are capable of a lot. They're usually confident with a keyboard and able to cope with text-based programming languages. They're also more able to work with physical components and tools.

For teens who haven't tried coding or electronics before and might be more cautious, we'd recommend looking at our 8-12 age range list as lots of the products are still relevant at this age.

Simply Coding JavaScript Game Design


Simply Coding offers a range of coding courses for kids and young people. Their Game Design course using JavaScript, a useful programming language to know as it's widely used to built interactive websites.

There are lots of websites where kids can learn to code, but it can be useful to have a bit more support and more structured all-in-one experience.

It's also nice to have a physical gift to give and this course includes a free 8GB USB drive which is always handy for coders wanting to store their projects and move them around. The kit includes an access code for the online course. Learners also get access to live chat assistance and online help from mentors is also available at certain times.

KOOKYE LilyPad Kit


The KOOKYE LilyPad starter kit combines Arduino coding with sewable electronics. The kit includes the materials to make four projects: plush character, glowing pin, costume mask and nightlight pennant.

Teens can work through the included projects to develop their skills and then move on to creating their own wearables and gadgets using the LilyPad wearable electronic platform.

Raspberry Pi Kit



A Raspberry Pi Kit is a good option for 13-year-olds who want to learn to code and get started with physical computing. The Raspberry Pi is a full computer that is inexpensive and ideal for learning how computers work. If you mess things up on a Raspberry Pi it's easy to get back to a good state.

There are lots of beginner books and courses available for the Raspberry Pi which makes it a great education platform. The Pi is widely used by hobbyists and makers so there's are plenty of more advanced resources available too.

Makeblock Ultimate

Makeblock is a great platform to get involved in. The powdered metal parts are great quality and the robots and machines you build can be programmed with Arduino which is a widely used platform for hobby and prototype electronics. 

Makeblock also makes cool kits for adult robotics hobbyists including a laser engraver and 3D printer. This means that there's a plenty of scope for progressing onto more complex projects in the same platform. 

CoDrone Pro Programmable Drone

A drone is a pretty cool bit of kit for a teenager, but we think a programmable done is even better. The CoDrone Pro can be programmed using the Arduino environment and a series of lessons is available online.

Robolink, the company behind CoDrone, is focussed on STEM education and has announced that they are working on an NGSS-aligned curriculum so there should be further content available in future.

Arduino Starter Kit

We've already mentioned Arduino. For a solid grounding in the Arduino platform, the Arduino Starter Kit is a good option. It includes a project book with the components and accessories to make several projects. There's also video content available to explain concepts and projects. 

See our full review of the Arduino Starter Kit for more information. 









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