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The BBC is hoping to encourage children into learning about computing by getting one of its most recognisable characters to help promote coding.

The BBC Doctor Who HiFive Inventor is a new coding kit that’s designed to help teach kids how to program devices.

The kit comes to us from the joint participation of Tynker, a firm which designs creative coding platforms for school kids, and BBC Learning. The lessons and activities in the kit follow stories set in the world of Doctor Who, and are narrated by Jodie Whittaker, the actor who currently plays the role of The Doctor in the popular science fiction series.

The kit is designed to introduce kids to code for the Internet of Things (IoT). It features a hand-shaped device that the kids will learn to program for various tasks.  Inside it is a SiFive FE310 RISC-V microcontroller, and an ESP32 Solo module that gives it WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The lessons teach students how to read data from the kit’s various onboard sensors and display results on the embedded LED-matrix display.

The HiFive Inventor also has edge connectors to accommodate a slew of additional sensors and devices. The kit comes with a set of speakers, an illuminated USB cable for power and programming, and alligator clips to connect the speaker or other add-ons to the HiFive Inventor board.

The brilliant thing about the HiFive Inventor is that It’s meant to cater to learners of all ages and experience. If you’ve never coded before, you can do this. If you’re an experienced DIY tinkerer, the sky may or may not be the limit. The device uses a block coding language for early learners, and the Python programming language serves the needs of advanced learners.

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