Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Code Cube Single Kit: A Pitsco Education Review

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.

Do you have any students interested in robotics or coding?  It's not a subject I have ever toyed around with or been interested in, but my son was introduced to it in a robotics class at our local co-op last year.  Since he was familiar with the concept and seemed to have enjoyed it, we were open to reviewing something along the same lines.  Pitsco Education  offers a variety of hands-on learning STEM products, but for our review today we are talking about the Code Cube Single Kit (45843).

What We Received:

We received 1 programmable Code Cube, 1 USB cable, 1 slap band, access to the web-based Code Cube App, a digital copy of Code Cube Teacher's Guide with 10 lesson plans and numerous open-ended activities, and access to a variety of other online resources and tutorials.  This kit is recommended for grades 3-5.

How It Works:

In order to activate and program the reusable Code Cube, it must be connected to a computer via the provided USB cable.  The web-based Code Cube App, found here: can then connect the app to the cube.  Once the two are connected, you are able to send it coding commands to change what it does using block-based programming. This cube can have the picture changed, add music or sounds, and then determine when and what order it does these things.  For example, when the cube faces a certain direction then a series of instructions are carried, like play a siren or change colors within the image.  The slap bracelet slides into spaces on the cube making it like a watch or bracelet with a large charm.  

Once a code is complete to your liking, you can save the file to your local computer, in addition to be loaded onto the cube.  Anytime you change the current code and want to return to a previously saved code, you simply load up that file.  This eliminates having to redo each step of the code any time you want to reload it on your cube.

The Teacher's Guide is set up with the possibility of a full classroom in mind and instructs based on multiple students.  This doesn't change too much if you only have one cube and/or one student besides the various work with a partner comments.  The 10 lessons are an easy way to teach students how to code with this cube, but also to familiarize themselves with all that it is capable of.

How We Used It:

Since my 9 year old had already learned about robotics basics, he dove right in before I even realized there was a teacher's guide or lesson ideas.  Once he figured out how it worked, then he showed dad and little sister.  After that there was a constant push to take turns coding it to do different things.  Initially, my son thought it could work as an actual watch that told time.  When he found out that wasn't possible, he was a bit frustrated and disappointed, but he got over it and continued to explore what it could do.  My daughter, almost 7, was able to work the program with a little bit of guidance from her brother.  

This compact little gadget is a great way to teach beginning programming and introduce students how coding can work.  It is relatively simple and isn't so technical as to be beyond most parents or teachers new to the subject.  Would you like a chance at winning this Code Cube Single Kit?  For the Homeschool Review Crew readers, Pitsco Education is running a special giveaway right now!  Enter to win through this link:

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The Review Crew reviewed a variety of products from Pitsco Education, including products suited for high school students.  If you would like to explore other STEM products, check out their reviews through the link below.

STEM At Your Fingertips - Elementary, Middle & High School STEM Kits {Pitsco Education Reviews}

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