STEAM education market leader Makeblock (HAX 01) announced today their launch of a Kickstarter campaign for NextMaker Box, a monthly subscription box that delivers coding and making projects for curious kids ages 7-12. With no prior experience necessary, kids can develop skills in programming, robotics, electronics, engineering, science, and arts and crafts. It is now available for the early bird price of $39.
With regular schooling and extracurricular activities interrupted thanks to COVID-19, accessing STEAM education is harder than ever. Makeblock’s latest product helps fulfill this need for at-home STEAM products that are engaging—and affordable.
Every month, NextMaker Box subscribers will receive a kit full of materials for new maker projects delivered straight to the door. Each box will include a fun, meaningful, and engaging hardware project that exposes kids to advanced STEAM topics including AI, IoT, data science, computational thinking, and human-computer interaction.
“We’re so excited to launch the NextMaker Box to make it easier for kids to learn important skills of the future, including coding. Most importantly, however, kids will develop confidence in building their own creations,” says Makeblock CEO Jasen Wang. “Our goal isn’t to turn every child into a programmer, but to teach kids to solve problems, be creative, and have fun while using modern technology.”
Part of the design is an understanding that kids need variety to stay engaged. As such, parents should expect to see fun projects like a music cube that lights up in sync with tunes, a smart voice-activated trash bin, a smart doorbell, codable toys, programmable cars, and more in the boxes. Each box features a new project and is carefully designed to spark a child’s creativity to learn how to build and code while having fun.
Hardware components will include wooden raw build materials, self-developed single board computers, and kid-friendly programmable electronic modules & sensors to explore concepts like voice command, image recognition, and motion sensing. Best of all, the contents of the monthly boxes can be disassembled and combined with other kit components to create brand new projects dreamed up by kids.
NextMaker Box is accompanied by an enriching online learning experience built upon a standard-aligned curriculum. Animated video activities deconstruct complex problems into smaller parts to provide kids with step-by-step guidance. The platform checks code and provides feedback as they go, helping kids learn how to debug by sharing tips via engaging animations for an interactive learning experience.
The projects included in NextMaker were developed over the span of two years, with over 2,000 usability tests. The first 50 projects and 100 activities are ready to launch and the company is continuously adding, iterating, and testing new projects to keep the delivery boxes engaging for kids. Makeblock has also established the MakeX Spark Robotics Competitions where kids can share their creations with others across the globe.
“Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to access technology,” continues Wang. “When I discovered my passion for innovation, I became inspired to increase access to STEM education and to transform education around the world. My goal is to help address a global skills shortage in technology, and beyond.
Makeblock is a five-time Red DotAward Winner, three-time IF Design Winner, and winner of an Idea Gold Award and Edison Gold Award. Makeblock’s products are currently sold in 140 countries, used by 15 million people globally, and used in more than 25,000 schools around the world.
NextMaker Box is now available on Kickstarter starting at $39 USD.