BOSON Starter Kit + micro:bit - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: BOSON Starter Kit + micro:bit

Author: garforthacademy

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Test Equipment

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Raspberry Pi; Sparkles; Micro Bot; Kano coding kits

What were the biggest problems encountered?: The biggest problem was that the microbit software had been updated and this meant that the project cards that come with the kit are out of date.

Detailed Review:

I am writing this review as a teacher of D&T in the UK.

 

The box the kit comes in is gender neutral in colour. Because the box is made out of plastic then it is robust enough to be used in a school environment. Because of it's shape it will be easy to stack and because it has compartments inside for the different electronic pieces, it means that at the end of the lesson it will be easy for staff to ensure all kit is returned. All the kit fits back in the box and locks securely.

 

 

 

Tested this kit with some students in Year 7 (11 to 12 year old) and Year 9 (13 to 14 year old) students. Because no soldering is involved it meant the kit was very easy for the students to make the projects on the project cards (luckily I had started to make the projects before the microbit software was updated). Because no soldering is invloved the students could see instant results from their coding and able to test their projects. As the plug and sockets are idiot proof they will only fit in one way; this ensured there were no issues with the different components being inserted incorrectly.

 

The graphics on the project cards are simple and easy for all students to understand and because they are colour coded it does make coding far easier to complete. However; it is easy for the students just to go through the project cards and still not understand coding. Extension cards or online tasks would be a good way of checking understanding and would  help challenge the more able students.

 

 

 

 

The component parts can connect to Lego bricks; however this is more of a gimmick rather than of use. The motor in the fan is not strong enough to move a lego vehicle; which is something both sets of students wanted to do.

 

I would use this kit with students aged 9 to 13. For older students a more challenging kit or project cards would be needed.

Anonymous
  • I somehow feel that this is just under half-a-review ... with a peek of what is inside the box but nothing in an assembled configuration nor any of the code that may have driven it. It misses key elements of how it is employed by the students to make projects.

     

    Were you able to build anything with it? Did the students find that fun? Did they learn anything from the experience? If they just followed the cards and didn't learn anything - did you perhaps try to challenge their knowledge? e.g. ask them "say if I changed this variable to X, what would happen?" or "if I wrapped this in an if statement instead of a while loop, what would happen?" or "if I instead wanted the code to do the opposite, what would you change?" Perhaps it's also a good idea to think of project cards of your own that can be accomplished with the kit - does it have enough parts for that?

     

    It would also be nice for you to detail how changes in the micro:bit software affect the project cards - is it a big change or a minor change that students could work out on their own? is it merely a visual change or a bigger conceptual change?

     

    - Gough

  • What tests did you do to verify that the motor would not move a Lego vehicle and what was its weight and drive configuration?

     

    Did you try to use gearing to improve its drive force?

     

    DAB