Maker/Development
$99 pi-topCEED desktop combines STEM learning with radical affordability

The STEM dreams of children around the world are being awoken and nurtured by the stream of educational devices aimed at teaching these children how to code. The team behind their self-titled runaway Indiegogo hit Pi-Top laptop is back with a second product that looks to lower the barrier of entry even further while dealing with its chunkiness a bit more effectively.

The pi-topCEED is the first $99 Raspberry Pi desktop featuring a 13.3″ HD screen, a 180° degree hinge for greater viewing angels, and a front-facing slide-away panel that allows access to the circuitry within. The unit comes with a Raspberry Pi 2 pre-installed with pi-top OS, an OS built by makers for maker that includes key functionality like brightness control along with gaming in the form of Minecraft and educational programs like Scratch and CEEDUniverse, a MMORPG that teaches circuit and programming basics. The topics covered in the different programs combined printed circuit board design and 3D printing to allow for young learners to eventually make whatever they want. On top of this, the Pi-Top team underscores the importance of affordable educational technology with their Indiegogo exclusive buy one, gift one offer in partnership with Into University. The pi-topCEED is expected to ship by April 2016 should its $50,000 campaign get funded by December 11th, 2015.

What ill can be said of low cost hardware made with the intent of educating little ones around the world? The pi-topCEED’s modularity makes it even easier to adapt it to future upgrades as well, with more intrepid learners surely to push it to its limits. The Pi-Top team is making good on its original premise established with the Pi-Top laptop and seem on the right track continue to do so.

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