A Kickstarter has been started for a flying toy that is designed to teach children how to code by being hackable. The toy is called the Zubi Flyer and was designed by Kyle Muir and Kristy Sevy.
Sevy, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Fuze Interactive, came up with the idea for the toy when she had difficulty finding toys for her three daughters. Sevy couldn't find any toys that introduced or encouraged any science or technology learning.
As Benzinga points out, fewer women are going into science fields in the U.S. as compared to other countries. The Zubi Flyer could lead to an increased potential for introducing women into scientific fields as well as lead to more innovative educational tools for younger audiences.
"The products I brought into my home were either so dumbed-down they were closer to condescending than educational, or so high-level they even left me intimidatedâ¦there was nothing in between. My girls needed an advanced educational product to teach them things I didn't even know yet, and it had to be something that made learning alongside them comfortable for me, too. Most importantly, it needed to ignite their passion for technology instead of squelching their excitement," Said Kristy Sevy.
The Zubi Flyer, which had its design based on a Frisbee, has all of its educational lessons based on S.T.E.A.M, curriculum centered on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The Flyer comes with nine games that the whole family can play and the Flyer allows children to hack into it to decide on the game and how they want to utilize the toy. To use the hacking feature, the Flyer comes with a magic wand.
The Zubi Flyer can also be connected to a computer, notes Jack Choros writing for the Huffington Post. By reprogramming the lights and the games, kids can get a hands-on approach to programming from a young age. The innovative combination of a physical game combined with science lessons could also allow the Flyer to find a home in classrooms. Learning to reprogram the toy and then taking it to a P.E. class could be a step forward to diversify science curriculum in schools.
"We founded our company to focus on S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, and the Zubi Flyer was the result. The product brings together real technology and straight-forward, hands-on play. We think the Zubi Flyer will resonate with children and their parents, introducing both to high-level science concepts in a straightforward and fun way," Sevy continues.
Julian Horsey notes for Geeky Gadgets that the Kickstarter goal for the Zubi Flyer is $50,000. That goal still hasn't been met and Fuze Interactive won't be able to spread the Zubi Flyer without it.
With a new generation of students being raised in an increasingly technology-driven age, a toy like the Zubi Flyer could be invaluable. Schools increasingly emphasize the importance of scientific fields such as computer science and programming. As they search for ways to promote those fields, a toy like the Flyer could be a unique asset.