Techie Factory

We hope you can visit our own Mess Wright when she exhibits at the Texas Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference Innovation Lab on Friday, April 6. For this exhibit we’ve sought to celebrate all that is awesome about the Microsoft MakeCode website and highlight the programming environments there for the BBC micro:bit, Adafruit’s Circuit Playground Express, the Chibitronics Chibi Clip, and Seeed Studio’s Grove Zero Kit.  At Techie Factory, we love the low barrier to getting started with MakeCode. The digital simulator for these four boards/kits makes it possible for anyone with a device and an Internet connection to start learning to code the hardware. The ability to choose whether to use a block-based coding option or a JavaScript text editor (and flip between the two with a simple click) is an absolute game-changer for instructors who need to be able to accommodate learners who may be getting started as well as more experienced or advanced learners at the same time.


If and when you do purchase this hardware, you can download code made in MakeCode with ease, and you can get ideas for hands-on maker projects right on the MakeCode webpage.And for information about TLA's Annual Conference, happening this week at the Dallas Convention Center, click here. You do not have to be a librarian or a member of TLA to visit the exhibit hall as they offer non-member event passes.

To connect with Mess during the conference, email or Tweet to her @codepioneer and @techiefactory


To get a great hands-on computing education, be sure to start at MAKECODE.COM


You can learn more about Adafruit by visiting or you can buy this board here. (Be careful not to purchase the Circuit Playground Classic as it's not able to run MakeCode.)



You can learn more about this tiny computer by visiting or you can view product resellers here.



CHIBI CLIP by Chibitronics
You can read about the evolution of Chibitronics at or you can shop clips and accessories here.




GROVE ZERO by Seeed Studio
You can view tons of cool stuff by Seeed Studio on their website, or learn more about the Grove Zero here.






If you think your children would benefit from learning about programming circuit boards, opportunities abound on-site at our Tech Learning Lab in the Dallas Park Cities. We will be programming in MakeCode during our next Afterschool Lab Session, "Junior Coders & Circuit Boards," running Mondays beginning April 9, 2018. We will run the Summer Camp, "Fun with Coding for Circuit Boards," June 11 - 15 (link) and again July 23-27 (link). We will also offer this Summer Camp at The Study in Irving July 9-13 (link) and August 6-10 (link).

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