CreativityBox.org, an education technology public-benefit corporation, is launching its first consumer-facing product for children ages 3-6. Mochi Screenless Coding is designed to teach young children how to program without a screen. The learning experience—which includes stories, hands-on coding, and a real-world programming environment—aims to tackle the widening opportunity gap in access to high-quality STEM education.
Five years ago, inventor Mark Pavlyukovskyy created a computer that changed the lives of 100,000s of kids by empowering them to build and program their own technology. Called the Piper Computer Kit, it debuted on Kickstarter in March 2015 and was designed for ages 7-12. The Piper Computer Kit went on to receive accolades from Dr. Toy’s 2017 Top Tech Toys, 2018 Toy of the Year, ITSE’s 2019 Best of Show Award, Amazon’s Top Picks in STEM Education, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
The Story Behind Mochi Screenless Coding
When Mark’s good friend Dr. Mihran Vardanyan had his third child, they realised children today are glued to their screens at an earlier and earlier age. Together with education industry veteran Daria Zhao, the three decided to create something just as stimulating – but completely – to nourish the growing brains and curious hands of their youngest children, ages 3 to 6.
Pop culture teaches kids to be consumers, not creators. Our kids are taught to consume technology from a young age: iPads, YouTube, games, movies, you name it. But they aren’t being empowered to build it.Mark Pavlyukovskyy, founder and CEO
That is a problem, according to co-founder and head of product Daria Zhao, because knowledge is power.
Technology is a critical part of our lives, yet so few know how to make it. Understanding the fundamentals of computing is powerful, because it means you’re not just watching from the sidelines. You get to play in the game.Daria Zhao, co-founder and head of product
Mochi Screenless Coding – How it Works
Mochi Robotics Kit is an early childhood programming kit that enables kids to learn the basics of coding and computational thinking through hands-on, screenless play.
To compete with the screen, Mochi combines audio-visual feedback, touch, visuals, songs, sounds, and movement alongside story-based, educational content so kids can engage in self-directed play or collaborative and guided learning.
Mochi is the only robotics kit in the world programmed with a stuffed animal bear, and its multimodal functions and story-based sequence appeal equally to boys and girls. The product is also LEGO-compatible, giving kids the creative freedom to tinker and create their coding companion in their own image while extending playtime.
On the decision to create a completely screen-free experience:
It’s hard to compete with the immediate gratification of screen-based content. Early childhood is a wonderful time to explore and develop brain plasticity, because early investments in education compound over a lifetime.Dr. Vardanyan, chief scientist
Daria, a former Wall Street analyst, adds that this is the most rewarding investment of all.
The Learn With Mochi Kickstarter campaign began on October 16, 2019, and has already tripled its pledge goal. With 18 days more to go, backers can pre-order the Mochi Core Kit with a free story pack for $179, the Mochi Premier Kit with 6 story packs for $269, and the Mochi Deluxe Kit with the complete story library (12 books and maps) for $399, with discounts of up to 40%. Mochi is also offering Education Kits for educators and classroom settings.
The full 12-story library includes topical exploration of Planets, Colors, Numbers, Letters, Shapes, Animals, Words, Fruits, Earth, Time, Biology, and Good Habits.
Delivery dates for Kickstarter are set for December 2019. This would make a great Christmas gift to put under the tree.
For more information, please visit www.learnwithmochi.com.