This robotic puzzle game teaches kids basic coding skills

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Kids don’t need to stare at a screen to learn the basics of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). A new electronic puzzle kit to raise funds on Starter encourages children to use their hands as well as their brains to assemble robots that perform various tasks.

The game, called ActivePuzzle, uses the classic puzzle pieces that many children already know. In this case, the slots and tabs that hold the parts together also serve as inlet and outlet channels.

Each piece performs a different function. A block stores the battery and supplies the robot with electricity; another holds a proximity sensor that allows him to “see” and track objects in front of him. With up to 22 different blocks, ActivePuzzle is multiple toy robots in one, including a maze, streetlight, wake-up alarm, and spinning dancer. (See it in action in the video below.)

Even though ActivePuzzle does not use computer screens, it is intended to introduce the child to coding. Intuitive gameplay teaches players concepts like sequencing, programming, and problem solving—essential foundations for those working in STEM fields.

Since the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on February 27, ActivePuzzle has already exceeded its initial goal and raised more than $24,000. Contributors have until March 28 to reserve their own kit. A $78 pledge gets you 16 puzzle pieces, while a $122 pledge gets you 22 pieces.

Buy it to Starter.

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