Google's Project Bloks Aims to Teach Kids to Code
Google's new Project Bloks platform wants to help children develop foundational problem-solving skills through playful, tactile and collaborative coding experiences.
Bloks includes electronic boards and programmable pucks that let users create and send instructions to connected devices. Build a coding kit, for instance, to control a robot or create art.
"Creating an open platform for designers, developers, and researchers will remove the technical barriers that get in their way," the Project Bloks website says. "So they can focus on innovating, experimenting and creating new ways to teach computational thinking to kids."
Google encourages everyone -- educators, manufacturers, researchers, parents -- to sign up online for updates. The company is also looking for those willing to remotely take part in research studies later this year.
Google isn't the only one turning its focus toward computer science education. The White House earlier this year proposed billions -- $4 billion for states and $100 million for school districts -- for CS training in grades K-12, insisting that the "new basic" skills is necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility. President Barack Obama also called for $135 million in computer science funding from the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Microsoft, meanwhile, is using its recently acquired Minecraft video game to get kids interested in computer coding.