Spoiled for Choice: STEM and new micro-controller platforms

As a father of a toddler, and an interest in electronics, I am always on the lookout for what might be interesting to her.

Engoyed reading about learning to code by Adrian Oldknow http://www.ccite.org/ Latest documents: Learning to Code 1, Learning to Code 2, Learning to Code 3  

In the last 5 years there has been an explosion in platforms (both software and hardware), the learning to code series looks at 12 combinations from pic to arduino to raspberry pi.

Now there is a growing group aimed at youngsters, cheap badge microcontrollers with easy attachment.

3 uk based products that interest me. Only the last one is currently available. There is the MicroBit that will be given to school children in uk in yr 7, The CodeBug that is on kickstarter and the Crumble, which can be bought now for £12. I Dont have them, but it would be nice to get all three to compare there strengths and weaknesses(hint hint).


Micro Bit

release version micro:bit 


Code Bug (currently on kickstarter, by the PiFace people)




and my current favourite

Crumble Microcontroller, by redfern electronics http://redfernelectronics.co.uk/product/crumble-controller/

Crumble Microcontroller



Biohackers, Biopunks and others

“Biohacking is the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic. Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements ranging from “Grinders” who design and install do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants to do-it-yourself biologists who conduct at-home gene sequencing.”

Broadly, I can see three main types

grinder: body flesh hacker magnets in fingers
quantified self people: tracking their life, non-invasive
diybio: hacking life in a petri dish