I recently had the opportunity to review the mCookie 201 Advanced Kit. The DIY electronics and building kit seemed like the perfect fit for my technology programming class. We built two of the provided projects and learned a lot along the way. The $199 kit provides many opportunities for both building and programming projects. Let’s take a look!
The mCookie 201 kit includes smart modules that utilize magnetic connectors and pogo pins. Each module is designed to also be compatible with Lego building blocks, making project possibilities almost endless. For beginners the kit comes complete with detailed project instructions ready to go. The students in my class chose two of these projects and got to work.
The students first explored how the modules fit and what task they could each perform. They were impressed with how easily each module fit together and the fact that they were able to be stacked. Our first project was to create a digital watch.
Being the first project there was a slight learning curve. The project was easily built, but the finished project took some time to get the programming correct. Even though the sample programs are provided, there is a small amount of adjusting in order to complete the project.
One thing we did notice was that the build quality of the modules and accessories was high quality and would make for more memorable projects.
Once the watch was successfully completed, the class decided to tackle a more challenging project and we built a music box. One team was in charge of building the electronic parts of the box complete with joystick and speakers while the second team got to work on a cardboard enclosure.
This project was a bit more challenging and the build team had to adjust wiring and the final set up inside the box before it was closed and ready to play. The memory module allowed for a micro-SD card complete with a couple of songs to provide the audio.
Once the programming and electronic modules were complete and installation of the box was finished, we were able to have surprisingly decent sound for a homemade, cardboard music box.
The Micruduino mCookie proved to provide both enjoyment and a challenging experience for my students. All of them agreed that the kit is not only great for school, but could also provide fun and education for anyone at home. The parts are high quality and the programming is easy to learn. As we continue through the school year, we will complete more projects and work on designing a project of our own from scratch. The mCookie is an enjoyable learning tool that my 7th period class highly recommends.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit.
What We Liked: Easily connected and compatible modules. Many build options.
What Could Be Improved: Provided memory module would have been appreciated.