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Old 02-25-2014, 09:37 AM
 
258 posts, read 578,040 times
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I have two kids 11 and 6 years old. My 6 year old is quite smart and curious minded. I want to get them started on computers and programming. I am thinking of buying either the raspberry pi or the arduino so they get to see the innards, write some lines of code and see the code in action. Just to whet their appetite. Which would be a better job for this? I am also in IT but took a break from my career to take care of my kids. So, I am also looking to getting back to action with Python, among other things. I understand that the PI will do this job and then of course I can take it from there and expand my horizons from various other resources available. So, what do you think is a better option between the two. I am also open to buying both if they will together suit my needs better. Thanks for any advice / suggestions.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tango14 View Post
I have two kids 11 and 6 years old. My 6 year old is quite smart and curious minded. I want to get them started on computers and programming. I am thinking of buying either the raspberry pi or the arduino so they get to see the innards, write some lines of code and see the code in action. Just to whet their appetite. Which would be a better job for this? I am also in IT but took a break from my career to take care of my kids. So, I am also looking to getting back to action with Python, among other things. I understand that the PI will do this job and then of course I can take it from there and expand my horizons from various other resources available. So, what do you think is a better option between the two. I am also open to buying both if they will together suit my needs better. Thanks for any advice / suggestions.

These are really two different devices, for two different things.

The Pi is a small ARM based Linux computer with an actual UI, and lots of support for Python (although it's painfully slow for most things, so you could just as easily teach them to build a PC, and load Python on it if that's your only goal).

The Arduino is a true microcontroller, is programed in C, has no UI (everything is done from a computer, and pushed to the Arduino), and is really designed for interacting with sensors and hardware.

The Pi can interact with hardware, but it's really a secondary feature that usually requires additional hardware.


Both can be great for kids, but for different reasons. Arduino projects generally revolve around soldering, and building electronics, with programing being focused on dealing with the electronics, where Pi projects tend to focus on projects that need more horsepower, or more complex UI.

Adafruit has some great tutorials on both:


Adafruit Learning System

Adafruit Learning System

Adafruit Learning System
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:47 PM
 
258 posts, read 578,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
These are really two different devices, for two different things.

The Pi is a small ARM based Linux computer with an actual UI, and lots of support for Python (although it's painfully slow for most things, so you could just as easily teach them to build a PC, and load Python on it if that's your only goal).

The Arduino is a true microcontroller, is programed in C, has no UI (everything is done from a computer, and pushed to the Arduino), and is really designed for interacting with sensors and hardware.

The Pi can interact with hardware, but it's really a secondary feature that usually requires additional hardware.


Both can be great for kids, but for different reasons. Arduino projects generally revolve around soldering, and building electronics, with programing being focused on dealing with the electronics, where Pi projects tend to focus on projects that need more horsepower, or more complex UI.

Adafruit has some great tutorials on both:


Adafruit Learning System

Adafruit Learning System

Adafruit Learning System

Thanks. At a glance, the tutorials look great. To do simple projects with either, will we have to buy additional hardware on an ongoing basis, for each project? Or does it make more sense to kind of ear mark a couple of projects and then look for additional stuff and order them along with the pi/arduino? Any ideas?

Any recommendationsa for good starter projects for young kids?
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tango14 View Post
Thanks. At a glance, the tutorials look great. To do simple projects with either, will we have to buy additional hardware on an ongoing basis, for each project? Or does it make more sense to kind of ear mark a couple of projects and then look for additional stuff and order them along with the pi/arduino? Any ideas?

Any recommendationsa for good starter projects for young kids?
Both can be money sinks as you get into more complex projects, especially if you don't have components on hand and have to run somewhere like Radio Shack to get them.

If you haven't done a lot of electronics, and don't have a stock of standard things like capacitors and resistors, then you might start with one of the starter kits. They are a bit more expensive, but usually come with all of the components to do a number of projects, and will certainly get you going in the right direction. Also watch for Arduino's as kits if you don't have an interest in soldering.

There are a few different starter packs on the product pages for each one.

Arduino : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

Raspberry Pi : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 994,160 times
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here are some links that my son had fun with when he was a kid:

http://www.squeak.org/

which led to http://scratch.mit.edu/

These could be interesting for kids too:

In 3d - Alice.org

Then from Google - http://golang.org/
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:52 PM
 
2,791 posts, read 3,435,603 times
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I would go with Arduino. With arduino, there are all sorts of possibilities. They will learn C/C++ programming, how microprocessors work, how to write efficient code for embedded software applications, how to communicate between microprocessors and the computer and much, much more.

One avenue that would probably interest them is using a bluetooth shield on the Arduino and writing an app for an Android phone to communicate with the arduino and control things. For example, I kept forgetting to leave the porch light on when we would leave in the afternoon to go out to eat, so I built a microcontroller with an Arduino, bluetooth shield and relay board and connected it to the porch light and then wrote a small app for my Android phone to turn the light on and off through bluetooth. Now, when I forget to leave the light on, I turn it on from inside my car in the driveway using the app.

You can build remote control robots controlled with joysticks, a weather station to read temperature and humidity, christmas lights programmed for a light show to music, motion sensors, tv remotes, etc.

For beginners, I would recommend the book "Arduino for dummies." It is a pretty good tutorial for getting started with Arduino and even covers basic C programming and some of the function calls and Arduino libraries.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:21 PM
 
258 posts, read 578,040 times
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All great ideas, thank you. I am going to start with the arduino and also am looking at scratch. Thanks again!
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:13 PM
 
258 posts, read 578,040 times
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I am posting back on this somewhat old thread for more Advice. I haven't yet taken the plunge for the arduino or raspberry pi for personal reasons. But maybe now. Before that, I wanted to find out - is scratch the best program to get kids started on coding. I recently found an app called TYnker, which seems good too. Does anybody have any 'learning to code - for children' app or website that they would recommend over others? I have a 7 year old and a 12 year old. Thanks for any help.
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