Teach your child robotics at home, even if you have no background in electronics or programming!
Level A is the first of four levels in the Intro to Robotics series. Intro to Robotics is designed to start at the very beginning and systematically teach students electronics, programming, and then how to combine those skills to build a functional robot.
Along the way they will learn how to use common electrical components, read schematics, troubleshoot, and craft every line of computer code.
Teaching several children? Click here to purchase additional component kits.
Teaching a group in a classroom or co-op setting? Click here for institutional ordering and pricing information.
Level A Curriculum and Kit Contents
- 360 page curriculum (PDF) containing 18 step-by-step lessons
- Raspberry Pi 3 B x1
- 5 volt Power Supply with AC Adapter x1
- Raspberry Pi Case
- Micro SD Card with Adapter
- Ribbon Cable x1
- Wedge Assembly x1
- Battery Holder with Wires x1
- Breadboard x1
- LEDs x8
- RGB LED x2
- Resistors 220 Ohm x6
- Resistors 1,000 Ohm x6
- Resistors 10,000 Ohm x6
- Pushbutton Switch x3
- Jumper Wires x12
Level A Scope and Sequence
- Learn how electricity and electrical equipment work.
- Learn to properly use common electrical components that make up circuits including breadboards, batteries, LEDs, resistors, jumper wires, and switches.
- Build both series and parallel circuits and understand how to use Ohm's Law when designing circuits.
- Practice systematic troubleshooting techniques including half-splitting.
- Learn to read schematic drawings.
- Learn to use a Raspberry Pi (a mini computer) including connecting it to peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc.) as well as downloading files and software updates.
- Learn to use several included software packages including Raspbian OS, Nano, and Thonny.
- Learn to to create basic Python programs including comments, merging strings, user input, mathematical functions, lists, if/else statements, and loops to control electrical circuits and create games.
- Learn to identify and correct errors in Python computer programs.
- Gain the skills to independently tackle projects found online.
After completing Level A, we recommend students continue the Intro to Robotics series:
What Other Parents are Saying
"My kids have really enjoyed seeing what happens when they’ve created a complete circuit. They light up with a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve enjoyed learning alongside them." Deb, West Virginia
"My son is starting college next year, electrical engineering technology will be his major. We are using your curriculum to get a head start on college. He is loving the program. I have to tell him to stop and move on to other school work! He has just a couple lessons left and can’t wait for level B." Rudy, Michigan
"Thank you! My daughter has enjoyed learning step-by-step with curriculum that sets her up for success." Pam, Tennessee
"I purchased Level A for my son, and he loves it! We are only on lesson 2, because of his chemo treatments. However, even though he is on just on Lesson 2 he has learned quite a few new concepts he didn’t already know. This is his favorite class and wants to complete all of the levels. Thank you so much for providing the opportunity to parents to help jumpstart their child’s chosen career path." Kelly, Louisiana
"We just wanted to let you know that my son is enjoying this program very much. He looks forward to it each time and we find that it has filled the gaps that other programs he has worked with have failed to address. He’s very much looking forward to Level B! There is a lot of reading which he doesn’t relish, but he is perfectly capable of reading it and we’ve made a handy little notebook to keep vocabulary words and unfamiliar terms in so it’s been a good experience in early note-taking, too." Roxy, Nebraska
Level A FAQ
Q. I don’t know anything about electronics or programming. How can I use this to teach my child?
We specifically designed our curriculum kits to be used by families with no background in electronics, programming or robotics. With clear explanations, step-by-step instructions, a complete components kit included, and one-on-one support from our amazing team, we are confident you can successfully teach your child robotics at home.
Q. What age is this curriculum appropriate for?
A. We designed our curriculum kits to be used by middle and high school aged students. That being said, it's certainly possible to use the kits with children a bit younger although we'd strongly recommend a younger child learn alongside an older teen or adult. We want everyone to feel successful!
Q. How many lessons are in Level A and how long does each lesson take?
A. There are 18 lessons and each lesson will take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete. We recommend aiming to complete 1-3 lessons per week. A single level will take 6-18 weeks to complete depending on lesson frequency.
Q. Can the curriculum be used by the student independently?
A. Yes, the curriculum is written directly to the student and assumes both child (and parent) have no background in electronics, programming, or robotics. How successful a child will be at self-teaching will depend on age, maturity level, and motivation of the child. In the event you have a younger or less mature child, we would encourage you to learn alongside your child.
Q. What if we have a question or run into a problem?
A. We are thrilled to help! Contact us via email or live chat and we will help you get back on the right track.
Q. What should my child do after completing this course?
A. After a student completes Level A, they will have basic electrical and programming skills they can use to tackle beginner Raspberry Pi projects they find online. Click here to see a sample of appropriate projects. We also recommend students move on to Level B to continue their robotics education:
- Level B: Working with Sensors and Intermediate Programming (Fall 2018)
- Level C: Incorporating Video and Advanced Programming (Spring 2019)
- Level D: Working with Motors and Taking It Mobile (Summer 2019)
Q. I’m only interested in my student being introduced to electronics and programming, does he or she need to complete all four levels?
While each level builds on the previous level, we have designed this course so a student can stop upon completion of any level and still have solid, complementary skills in working both with electrical components as well as the most common Python coding commands. While we do recommend students continue to work through successive levels, we recognize that won’t be appropriate for all children, and some families may be content with the skills and exposure gained by completing only one, two, or three levels.
Q. Why does this program teach Python instead of a different programming language?
A. We teach Python for a couple of reasons:
- Python is currently the fastest growing computer language. Companies such as YouTube, Dropbox, Google, Quora, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and Yahoo Maps used Python to build their platforms. While programming languages tend to come and go over time, Python is well rooted and is likely to be a popular language for many years.
- Python is particularly well suited to beginners. The code is intuitive and easy to read. It also requires far fewer lines of code to accomplish tasks compared to other popular languages such as C++ and Java.
Q. Are the curriculum and kit reusable for other children?
Yes! The contents of the kit and the curriculum are fully reusable for multiple children in the same family. The curriculum may not be resold or given away to another family. If teaching multiple children simultaneously, it may be helpful to purchase multiple component kits so each child has their own set but this is not required. Click here
to purchase an additional component kit. Schools and co-ops, click here
for curriculum licensing information.
Q. How is the curriculum organized?
A. Here is an overview of the sections of the curriculum (click here to view the Table of Contents):
- Working with electrical components to build circuits (Lessons 1-8)
- Setting up the Raspberry Pi (Lessons 9)
- Writing computer programs in Python (Lessons 10-18)
- Controlling circuits you build with computer programs you write (Lessons 16-18)
Q. Can I use this curriculum for high school credit for a home schooled student?
Yes, there are a number of ways to use this curriculum to create a half or full credit high school course. Click here
to view guidelines for using Level A that specifically address academic credit for high school (page 3)
Q. Will we need additional equipment?
A. Yes, besides the curriculum and kit, there are a few things you will need but you likely already have these items on hand:
AA Batteries x2
Computer Monitor (or television provided it has HDMI inputs)
HDMI cable (likely currently attached to your computer monitor)
Keyboard and Mouse (use a wired keyboard and mouse if possible)
Internet access, wired or wireless (optional)
Please note, none of the equipment needs to be exclusive to the Raspberry Pi. The student can easily hook up the family computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, and internet access each time they do a lesson if resources need to be shared.
Q. How will I receive my order?
A. The PDF file containing the 360 page curriculum can be downloaded following purchase. A hard copy of the curriculum is not available although you are welcome to print a copy for your personal use. The component kit will be mailed to you within several business days.