When we looked at Piper’s STEM-based computer kit, we were incredibly impressed with the lessons learned in it, but saddened by the expensive asking price of $ 300. Now Piper has a maker club with a reasonable price ($ 20 per month). And if you subscribe, you get a free Raspberry Pi Pico. Better yet, starting March 1
The new site, called Piper Make, claims to be the first drag-and-drop coding platform for the Raspberry Pi Pico. If you already have a Pico, you can visit the site to help your kids learn coding concepts that can flash LEDs, monitor temperature sensors, and more.
To take advantage of this, you’ll need the Raspberry Pi Pico, a breadboard, and the right wires, LEDs, and sensors. Piper already sells one sensor kit add-on, and in our tests it works very well. Originally designed as an add-on to the Piper computer kit, it should work fine with the Raspberry Pi Pico.
While going this route drastically lowers the price for Piper’s excellent coding lessons, it has a few drawbacks. Your child will not “build a computer for it”. The appeal (and cost) of the Piper Computer Kit is assembling a laptop-like computer case complete with a monitor. You also need a computer to connect to the Pico. You can use a Windows, macOS or Chrome OS device.
You open Piper Make from the computer and connect it to the Pico. While it is unfortunate, it is no longer an all-in-one system; it’s worth it when it drops the price from $ 300 to as low as $ 20. Depending on the options you choose.
In addition to the Piper Make site and added support for the Raspberry Pi Pico, Piper recently introduced a monthly Piper Make club. If you don’t already have a Raspberry Pi Pico, that’s the cheapest to get started. The club is $ 20 a month, or $ 200 per year, and the first box comes with a starter kit that includes a Pico, 830-point breadboard, LEDs, resistors, switches, and wires. If you stay subscribed, you get more hardware, including sensors and switches, and a new tutorial every month.
If you’d rather pay once and be done, you can buy the starter kit for a one-time payment of $ 30 or the starter kit and sensor kit for $ 75 starting March 14. You won’t get updated monthly tutorials, but you still have free access to Piper Make.
We still love the Piper Computer Kit, and so do you can still buy it for $ 300But if you’re looking for an affordable STEM kit that covers software and hardware projects, check out the Piper Maker Monthly Club. The Piper Make site officially opens on March 14 (Pi Day).