Edtech startup aims to make STEAM lessons more engaging with new functionalities

Today (13 July), pi-top, the makers of the world’s most affordable Raspberry Pi based computer, launches pi-topPULSE. The sleek, HAT compatible, pi-top add-on board functions as a high-end Raspberry Pi Speaker, features a vivid LED matrix and includes an inbuilt microphone that integrates to give you your very own interactive Raspberry Pi assistant.  

The pi-topPULSE is an integrated solution for music, lights and sound that can be used by makers, students and educators alike. Measuring only 60x67mm, it’s easy to transport and deploy in any classroom. It can be used both as an add-on for pi-top or pi-topCEED, and additionally as a HAT for the Raspberry Pi 3. Useful in projects as a LED array, speaker and microphone, the pi-topPULSE can be used for games, to listen to music, sample music recordings and be programmed as a voice controlled Raspberry Pi.

Jesse Lozano, Co-Founder of pi-top explains, “Although children love technology, there is often a difficulty when it comes to keeping them engaged for long periods of time without an interactive and creative based exercise. Therefore, the inclusion of Art within STEAM is vital. Arts encourage the development of visual-spatial skills, an increased practice in problem solving, and collaboration as kids contribute to creative projects. Aiding in this pi-topPULSE adds a depth of perseverance, focus and creativity to the classroom.”

Suitable for beginners and experts alike, the pi-topPULSE is a fun, educational tool that helps bring the Arts into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) projects with added visual and creative elements. pi-topPULSE offers a plethora of projects across the board, including classic games such as Snake, which can be easily programmed and brought to life.

Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University says, “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.”

The pi-topPULSE’s key features include;

  • 7x7 RGB LED matrix array, speaker and microphone
  • Fully HAT-compatible - can be mounted on top of a standalone Raspberry Pi 3, or used inside the pi-top module rail like a normal add-on board
  • Comes fully assembled and ready to go - includes magnetic stand-offs that can be added to the Raspberry Pi if used as a HAT
  • A suite of python libraries is provided to make usage simple and easy - lots of example programs, demos and pi-top lesson plans (pi-topOS only) available to get you started with the LEDs, speaker and microphone
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa a cloud-based voice control

About pi-top: Created in 2014 by two friends crowdfunded on Indiegogo, pi-top is is rapidly growing company, revolutionising the education sphere with coding, computing and hands on experience with hardware. Using Raspberry Pi Technology and making it easily deployed, the pi-top teaches people how to programme languages such as scratch and Python, and also teaches its users to get hands-on constructing their laptops or desktops from purchase.

pi-top simplifies use of the Raspberry Pi for makers and educators and has grown into a world-leading platform that enhances learning for children across the world. It gives educators a well-rounded tool to teach complex STEAM subjects to students in an effective and engaging way with great hardware and revolutionairy software suite, pi-topOS.

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