Episode 57

Holiday Gift Guide for Techy Kids


December 10th, 2020

31 mins 55 secs

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About this Episode

We get a lot of questions about what parents should buy for their children for the holidays. In this episode, Kelly and Sean list out some of their favorite gifts for the holidays.

Episode highlights: Kelly & Sean celebrate two years of the Teaching Python and 183,000 downloads later. Kelly wins with a student that demonstrates year over year improvement in Computer Science. Sean builds a FastAPI and gets a steep learning curve. Kelly gets a birdbrained robot finch.

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Episode Links

  • Amazon.com: Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition 7.2-Inch-Tall Toy by Hasbro with Over 25 Sound and Motion Combinations, Toys for Kids Ages 4 and Up: Toys & Games — He may look like “Baby Yoda,” but this lovable creature is called The Child - and now you can become his protector with this animatronic toy from Star Wars. Touching the top of The Child Animatronic Edition’s head activates over 25 sound and motion combinations, including happy and excited sounds, giggles, babbles, and more, all while the figure’s head moves up and down, ears move back and forth, and eyes open and close. Boys and girls ages 4 and up can pretend to harness the power of the Force as The Child toy closes its eyes, raises its arm, and sighs as if exerting a great amount of energy.
  • Amazon.com: All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) + Amazon Smart Plug | Charcoal: Amazon Devices — Teach your child how to set reminders, listen to stories online, check the weather. Make sure to check your security settings.
  • Alexa in the Classroom [A Teacher's Guide] | Voices.com — Not only has Amazon Alexa become popular in our homes, many young students are now starting to encounter Alexa in the classroom as well. While there are many ways that technology is being used in digital learning, introducing hardware and AI represents yet another learning trend, and many teachers are finding advantages to leveraging Alexa as a learning tool and even a classroom assistant.  
  • Amazon.com: pi-top [4] computer with Raspberry Pi 4 - 100+ hours of Coding Projects, STEM Learning, LEGO compatible: Computers & Accessories — pi-top [4] is an easy-to-use, rugged device for creating practical computing projects and learning to code. With pi-top [4] you get to design, code and make anything you can imagine using one simple system. From beginner to superuser, pi-top powers your projects and brings learning into the real world.
  • Introducing Finch Robot 2.0! - BirdBrain Technologies — Bring computer science to life from kindergarten to college with the NEW Finch Robot 2.0!
  • DK Eyewitness Books: Robot: Discover the Amazing World of Machines from Robots that Play Chess to Systems that Think: Bridgman, Roger: 8601400584828: Amazon.com: Books — Take a detailed look at the fascinating world of robots - from the earliest single-task machines to the advanced intelligence of robots with feelings. Young readers will be amazed to learn all that robots can do: perform delicate surgical operations, clean city sewers, work as museum tour guides, or even battle each other in combat. Find out how humans have created these mechanical minds and bodies.
  • Raspberry Pi 400 Desktop - Full Computer Kit ID: 4796 - $100.00 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits — Raspberry Pi 400 is a complete Raspberry Pi 4-based personal computer, integrated into a keyboard. The Pi 4 is the first computer from the Pi Foundation that really feels 'desktop computer' speed - you can use it as an every day computer at a great price! Normally you'd need to pick up a keyboard and other accessories to turn the Pi 4 into a functioning desktop - but since most keyboards have empty space in them, you can just cram the Pi 4 inside to make an all-in-one kit. Think of it like a modern Apple IIe, but super light and powerful.
  • micro:bit v2 Go Bundle - Batteries and USB Cable Included ID: 4834 - $17.50 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits — Meet the new BBC micro:bit v2 - Upgraded with a powerful new processor that has tons more capability and also adds more sensing with a new speaker and microphone! The latest micro:bit will fit right into your existing lessons and materials; all the existing MakeCode blocks and MicroPython code will work in the same way as they do on the original micro:bit. More features, including easy ways to take AI and ML into the classroom, will be released throughout 2021.
  • DIY "Be a Unicorn" Light-Up Unicorn Headband Kit – TechnoChic — Become the unicorn of your dreams! Learn about circuits in the coolest and trendiest way - by building a light-up unicorn headband. Build the circuit and fold the pre-cut pieces to bring your unicorn headband to life! It’s a project that’s all about smarts & self expression!
  • A Beginner's Guide to Circuits | No Starch Press — A Beginner's Guide to Circuits is the perfect first step for anyone ready to jump into the world of electronics and circuit design. First, you’ll learn to read circuit diagrams and use a breadboard, which allows you to connect electrical components without using a hot soldering iron! Next, you’ll build nine simple projects using just a handful of readily available components, like resistors, transistors, capacitors, and other parts. As you build, you’ll learn what each component does, how it works, and how to combine components to achieve new and interesting effects. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to build your own electronic creations. With easy-to-follow directions, anyone can become an inventor with the help of A Beginner’s Guide to Circuits!
  • Teach Your Kids to Code | No Starch Press — Teach Your Kids to Code is a parent's and teacher's guide to teaching kids basic programming and problem solving using Python, the powerful language used in college courses and by tech companies like Google and IBM. Step-by-step explanations will have kids learning computational thinking right away, while visual and game-oriented examples hold their attention. Friendly introductions to fundamental programming concepts such as variables, loops, and functions will help even the youngest programmers build the skills they need to make their own cool games and applications.
  • Python for Kids | No Starch Press — Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your parents) into the world of programming. The ever-patient Jason R. Briggs will guide you through the basics as you experiment with unique (and often hilarious) example programs that feature ravenous monsters, secret agents, thieving ravens, and more. New terms are defined; code is colored, dissected, and explained; and quirky, full-color illustrations keep things on the lighter side.
  • The Computer Science Activity Book | No Starch Press — The Computer Science Activity Book is the perfect companion for curious youngsters — or grown-ups who think they'll never understand some of the basics of how computers work. Work through this brief, coloring book-like collection of fun and innovative hands-on exercises and learn some basic programming concepts and computer terminology that form the foundation of a STEM education. You'll learn a bit about historical figures like Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Alan Turing; how computers store data and run programs; and how the parts of a computer work together (like the hard drive, RAM, and CPU). Draw a garden of flowers using loops, create creatures with conditional statements, and just have a bit of fun.
  • Original Prusa MINI+ - Prusa Research — Introducing our new compact 3D printer with all the bells and whistles you would expect from the creators of the award-winning Original Prusa i3 MK2 and MK3S! The MINI+ is a big printer in a compact body. We did our best to squeeze as many features into the lowest possible price as possible. The MINI+ is great for beginners, companies looking to build a printing farm and 3D printing enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Amazon.com: Sovol SV01 3D Printer 95% Pre-Assembled with Direct Drive Extruder Meanwell Power Supply and Glass Plate + Sovol PLA 3D Printer Filament 1 kg(2.2 LBS) Blue 1.75mm: Industrial & Scientific — Bundle includes Sovol SV01 3D Printer 95% Pre-Assembled with Direct Drive Extruder Meanwell Power Supply and Glass Plate Built-in Thermal Runaway Protection 280x240x300mm + Sovol PLA 3D Printer Filament 1 kg(2.2 LBS) Blue Spool Printing Materials, Wiring Tightness, Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.02 mm, 1.75 mm, Blue