Piper was founded by Mark Pavlyukovskyy, named in ‘Forbes 30 under 30 in Education’ in 2018 and Dr Joel Sadler, who wrote a thesis 'Enabling Novices to Prototype Electronics' whilst undertaking a computer science project at Stanford. The Piper Computer Kit is aimed at children from 8 to 14 years and teches them to build and program electronics, whilst undertaking Minecraft- themed challenges.
The kit’s initial project is for children to build the casing and the electronics for the computer by following a blueprint. Once the computer is complete, the children can then use it to complete tasks, solve puzzles and build gadgets that will change features of the game. They can receive directions through the game that encourage them to take part in further tasks, such as add to the hardware. The kit includes PiperCode to help the kids learn coding basics, supported by tutorials. It has been developed to target people with no prior experience if electronics.
Assembling the kit will take children around 1-2 hours and the following story mode will take an additional 8-10 hours. After these are accomplished, there are further projects that prolong the kit’s usefulness. These projects include mini-games and 3D printing. Kids learn to code using NOOBS, which is the Raspberry Pi operating system with an internet browser, a word processor and scratch programming.
The Piper Computer Kit is available to buy from forthings.io in the UK and Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Finland and Sweden.