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BOSON Starter Kit + micro:bit - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 8
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 9
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 10
Support materials were available: 7
The price to performance ratio was good: 10
TotalScore: 54 / 60
  • RoadTest: BOSON Starter Kit + micro:bit
  • Evaluation Type: Test Equipment
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: 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was that the microbit software had been updated and this meant that the project cards that come with the kit are out of date.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.

     

    box

     

    open box

     

    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.


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