SCIO: The Fun New Way To Learn Coding, Computers and STEM
No experience necessary. Millions of technology-based projects. Learn coding, science and engineering. Create DIY devices.
Learn to code for less than the cost of a video game.
Go to www.makerthreads.com to stay informed about this and other revolutionary products!
SCIO is a COMPLETE LEARNING SYSTEM to teach coding, science & engineering concepts to anyone with NO EXPERIENCE.
In a short time anyone can use SCIO to:
- Learn programming
- Measure light and gravity
- Explore engineering
- Care for plants
- Respond to gestures
- Sense motion
- Make musical instruments
- Send sensor-triggered email and text
- Get into computer science
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. When you control a SCIO, you can make almost anything happen. Write your first program in under 30 minutes. Experience the joy of programming the real world!
SCIO fills a gap in computer education. When someone buys a Raspberry Pi or Arduino they often report being lost and confused. And their device ends up gathering dust.
SCIO offers a COMPLETE SELF-CONTAINED LEARNING SYSTEM that can be used for science fair and endless DIY projects. Great for teacher training in STEM as well.
1. The SCIO Development Board: embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and communications which enables it to interact with people, and collect and exchange data. Fully programmable by YOU.
2. The SCIO Software: A Powerful PC application makes creating programs for the SCIO board that can interact with the on-board devices, external devices, the PC and cloud simple and easy for beginners.
3. The SCIO Courseware: A complete structured course in computer programming for those with no experience, including STEM concepts and applications. SCIO fuels passion for science and technology.
Learn and use SCIO by yourself at home, in a school classroom, or in clubs.
A team of world class engineers and professors are pioneering new ideas for technological empowerment. SCIO is the first Stand-alone Learning System (SLS) to make programming, science, technology, and math fun.
By combining sensors, light outputs, and cloud communications, SCIO makes an easy-to-use introduction to the Internet of Things. SCIO stimulates children and adults into working productively with technology. It can be used by individuals at home or in a school classroom environment.
We need your support of $50 or more to help us kickstart the SCIO project to improve coding and STEM education around the world!
Watch the first lesson and see for yourself! In the video below you are introduced to the SCIO software and learn to write a program that creates a personalized light show. Beginners can accomplish this in under 15 minutes.
SCIO provides a way to bring objects to life with light. Using simple connections to external LEDs, SCIO can create many lighting effects and patterns. Shown below is a dragon head and terminator head from Thingiverse*, and a free-form wood art piece, all lit using SCIO.
With the SCIO and optional battery pack + memory, we measured the air time of a skateboarder doing an ollie. The program was written to record data on the accelerometer and determine how long the skateboard was in the air.
SCIO can teach about science in unique and engaging ways. In this pilot video we explore the nature of gravity and test a hypothesis. Expect more videos like this with more professional production.
This project allows any plug-in device to be turned on and off with SCIO. In this program we use an external piece of hardware to complete our project (a remote controlled outlet - 13 dollars on Amazon). We tape down the "on" button on the remote control and then run two wires from the SCIO board to the battery connection on the remote. This allows for a variety of triggers to turn the outlet on and off. For example, write a program that would activate the remote if the temperature sensor measures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. We can use social media, text messages, email, or any sensor to trigger the remote control which turns on whatever is plugged in to the outlet.
Whenever you write a program, you can instantly share it through the SCIO software. These shared programs are then accessible to anyone who owns a SCIO. Learn from programs created by your friends in the SCIO community!
We have tested SCIO across many different types of users. From middle school students to parents teaching their children, SCIO has proven its effectiveness.
SCIO was selected for two separate 50 minute classes to teach programming at the 2015 Annual Encuentros Leadership Conference. Encuentros Leadership was formed to address the critical educational, social and economic issues impacting the quality of education and life opportunities for Latino boys. Ages ranged from 10-16, and every student who participated wrote a program to create a light show. Many were so motivated that they stayed after the session to learn more.
High School and College students learned programming and STEM concepts with SCIO in a three-afternoon camp. The experience included writing programs to recognize hand gestures, using the sensors to measure and graph the frequency of room lights, remotely controlling devices plugged in to outlets, detecting motion, controlling the playing of music with push buttons, detecting tilting and jolting of the board, sending text messages and emails, along with many underlying concepts that allow for creation of new programs.
"I can't believe I learned that much in such a short of a period of time. I really feel like I can write computer programs now."
-Carly, High School Student
"SCIO was very interesting, simple to learn yet very satisfying."
-Matt, College Student
SCIO has been tested with parents and children. The children were excited and parents felt it made for a quality bonding experience. SCIO was easy to install and they were able complete the first project in a short time by watching the video tutorial.
"My son is 10. We just spent two hours with it. We made a completely programmable light show. We also made ways to make sound by pushing buttons, and by waving your hand over it. The options are absolutely endless. This is so exciting for young minds.”
Your purchase of a SCIO includes a one-year subscription to high quality video lessons, which includes at least 10 videos. In addition to this content we will also provide live, streaming webinars. These webinars will allow for questions and engagement. Each webinar will be accessible after it has finished on the Makerthreads website. That way if you miss one, you can always review it later.
Three LEDs (green, blue, and white), one RGB LED (can make thousands of colors), two light sensors (can sensitively take light measurements hundreds of thousands of times per second), a temperature sensor (how hot or cold is it in here?).
A three axis accelerometer (can measure acceleration and gravity) Two push buttons (can trigger any program or action) Four easy-connect "rings" to connect to external devices (no soldering required!) Microcontroller Chip (runs the board, this is the brain) Second Microcontroller chip (handles communications with the PC) USB cable Connection (so you can write programs that go onto the board as well as use the the power of your PC).
(Not pointed out: Two pushbuttons, USB connector, System Chip, 14 additional Expansion connections.)
With SCIO you can also work with media – make sounds, play music, show pictures, show videos. Run programs on the PC, connect with the Cloud. Graph data automatically, work with files.
SCIO SOFTWARE (Makerthreads): Provides comfortable environment for learning, creating and testing SCIO programs. Fully integrated with mikroBasic PRO for PIC, by MikroElektronika. Extensive library functions, input from keyboard and display to monitor, real-time graphing, user interrupts, communications with PC services and programs, including media support, cloud support, file support & Windows OS support. Requires PC running Windows 7 or higher.
BASIC PRO SOFTWARE (mikroBasic PRO for PIC, by MikroElektronika, Free Version): Detection and underlining of many coding errors the instant they are made, clear marking of loops and matching parentheses, auto completion, spelling correction, summaries of routines by size, variables, memory usage & more. Extensive library functions, comprehensive help, established community and forums for online support, accessible tech support. Powerful and friendly.
COURSEWARE SUBSCRIPTION: During the one year subscription, we will email you links to at least ten instructional videos. Each video will be roughly one hour and will provide one or more quality lessons with simple step by step learning and will involve exciting projects and concepts.
USER GUIDE: Want to get started now? We have put together a 200+ page user guide that will help you learn explore and use your SCIO when it arrives.
LIVE VIDEO WEBINARS: We will broadcast live discussions and project demonstrations. Ask us questions and learn with us as we explore different material. These videos will be recorded and made available to all.
SCIO art pack and two optional bolt-on boards are available to provide additional capabilities.
Unplug your SCIO from the computer and have it go portable using the bolt-on Battery Pack. Great for art projects and capturing small amounts of data.
Adds 128K Bytes of memory for recording substantial data while powered by battery. Great for portable scientific experiments using the on-board sensors.
This option allows anyone use SCIO to create art using additional LEDs. LEDs can bring your 3D printed objects to life, make children's artwork shine, and be used to enhance almost any object. Make wearables, posters and signs, or even a gift for a friend.
LED Art Pack Includes:
5 Female LED Connectors with 6 inch wires
10 Specially Selected LEDs- (2)Red, (2)Green, (2)Blue, (2) Red "eyes", and (2)Yellow. LEDs can easily be swapped. Wires attach directly to rings. No soldering necessary. Complete instructions.
DEVELOPMENT BOARD (Makerthreads): Size: 2.7-in length x 1.6-in width. User Programmable Chip: Microchip PIC16F1459, 48 MHz,12 Million Instructions per second, USB, 8K flash, 1K RAM. 3-axis accelerometer: Freescale MMA8652, sensitivity: .001 g. LEDS: RGB - Cree CLX6A-FKB. blue - Osram LB Q39E. green - Vishay VLMG1300. white - Osram LW Q38E. Light sensors: 2 Everlight PT11-21C – IR, visible, UV sensitive, high speed. Temperature sensor: Microchip MCP9701. Pushbuttons: 2 C&K PTS645SL50SMTR92. Other features - Protected Expansion I/O: Digital input, digital output, analog input, software UART, I2C, SPI, PWM. System chip: Microchip PIC16F1459, 48MHz, USB communications with PC, serves library functions to the user chip.
(2013-2015) Prior to Kickstarter Launch: Design, development and test of SCIO development board and SCIO PC software. First SCIO intensive course. SCIO demos to STEM educators. Development of initial courseware. SCIO test at Encuentros conference. Tests (Ferrari acceleration test, skateboard air test, bottle rocket test, others). Finalize BOM. Pilot production run of SCIO boards. Development of Kickstarter video and web page. Beta testing.
Ongoing: Development and fine tuning of teaching materials.
January: Kickstarter launch
January/February: Live interactive videos on Kickstarter
February: End of Kickstarter campaign
March/April: Produce SCIO development development boards and PC software for Kickstarter rewards
April/May: Ship Kickstarter Rewards. PC Software with written (non-video) lessons complete.
Ongoing: Production and release of 10 video lesson subscription on YouTube and Vimeo
By July all the material you need to make learning coding a great Summer project for yourself or with your children will be available. Teachers will have all necessary materials to prepare for teaching with SCIO in the 2016-2017 school year.
Makerthreads supports technological empowerment for ages young and old. We fill a need for people who want to learn more about science and technology but don’t have the right tools to satisfy their needs. Makerthreads supplies easy-to-use enjoyable tools with simple steps that can give anybody skills and knowledge of hardware, software, science, engineering and superior product development.
Makerthreads core concept is to make programming easier and more available to everyone. Programming doesn't need to be something dauntingly complicated. We believe there is a way to create devices along with lessons that can teach basic programming and principles of electronic design to anyone who wants to learn. These devices can be used by students of all ages and adults who wish to upgrade their technical skills, and even seniors who want to keep their minds active and healthy. Makerthreads main objective is to combine world-class professors with world-class engineers to create the ultimate learning experience.
The Makerthreads Team
Our core team and extended team consists of proven educators, engineers and scientists. We know how to develop superior hardware, software, and courseware.
Core Team Members
DAN GRABOI (Founder, CEO) is no stranger to technological development. The founding of Makerthreads and the creation of Makerthreads learning tools is a culmination of his three decades of experience with technology and user interfaces.
Dan holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in Human Experimental Psychology (Cognitive Science) from the University of California, San Diego.
With his doctoral research in human cognitive processing and focus on using computers to process and present information, he built a career with a number of well-known tech and biotech companies in the San Diego area. Dan has held roles as Principal Scientist, Chief Scientist, Consultant, Manager of Electronics and Software Development, and Director of Education in his career.
He has patents in the technology industry. His experience in circuit board and user interface design, data processing programs, sensor technology, hardware and software architecture and training makes him a valuable contributor to the Makerthreads team.
ERIC ROBERTSON (VP, Development) holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a M.A. from San Diego State University (SDSU). Currently a professor at MiraCosta College, he has previously taught at SDSU.
He was named Most Influential Professor at SDSU in the School of Communication in 2008, 5th Hottest Professor in America in 2010 by RateMyProfessors, and Tenured Faculty Member of the Year in 2014 at MiraCosta College. He has written books on entrepreneurship, one of which was a #1 Amazon bestseller. Eric has contributed to the development of Canter Companies, Station and Upcell Consulting. Makerthreads is privileged to have him as an essential member of the core team.
MITCHELL GRABOI (VP, Operations) possesses the passion and energy that fuels the Makerthreads growth. Mitch developed his passion for technology early on and he understands the importance and need for the Makerthreads vision. He was raised in a home where it wasn’t unusual to build hardware and software on the weekend in his garage. His deep understanding of user experience has been vital to the development of the Makerthreads SCIO experience. He loves helping to create things that help people improve their lives and have fun at the same time.
SOME STATEMENTS FROM BACKERS
I like to look at new technology and nowadays I'm trying to see if there's any tech out there that can grasp my son's attention and teach him along the way like it taught me as I grew up. There is no way I can miss this opportunity.
What got my attention to SCIO was that the input and output were built into the board. I'm a Club Leader and SCIO is exactly what I talk to the kids about when they say they want to get into coding. Unlike the RaspberryPi, Arduino, or Beaglebone, having the input devices built in is amazing. The kids will have no additional costs in add-on boards or external sensors.
I’m a wannabe techie, but much too old to truly appreciate all of the great things coming online. My granddaughter is totally immersed in technology and is in the STEM program at her school. I’ve sent her some of the Kickstarter rewards as a way to keep her engaged in technology. In the specific case of SCIO, I thought I’d give the coding a try myself and depending on how it goes, may forward it on to my granddaughter. You have a coding platform that appears to be properly aimed at newbies (me included).
I backed SCIO because it looks cool :) I am getting into electronics and circuits and thought it'd be a great way to learn and also do projects with my nieces.
* Files for the two 3D Printed objects below were obtained from wwww.thingiverse.com. Permission to use these objects on this Kickstarter web page granted by the creators below.
A NOTE ABOUT THE NAME “SCIO”
The word "SCIO" is in fact a common Italian word and Latin word that means "I Know," from the verb SCIRE, "to know, to understand." It is the root for the English word, "SCIENCE." In Esperanto, SCIO means “knowledge.” Since it is pronounced with a hard "c" in classical Latin, we also chose to pronounce it that way: "SKEE-oh," making this pronunciation unique among several other products and services spelled the same way in US and international markets.
Makerthreads applied for a federal trademark registration in early 2015, which was approved by the Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark office. We think SCIO is the perfect name for this product, and, like the US Patent and Trademark Office, saw no problem with using it to uniquely refer to an education system for learning programming along with scientific principles.
Like many other brands that use common words (think DOVE SOAP and DOVE CANDY), we use SCIO alongside several other products with similar names (but different uses as well as different pronunciations). While another company in another industry is challenging our use of the mark, we are exploring our options to continue using the mark in a manner that avoids any confusion. We hope you agree with us – that our SCIO product is not and will not be confused with any other SCIO products out there. Let us know your thoughts by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipping dates will not be affected.
Makerthreads reserves the right to edit lines of text on the special support page mentioned in the $1 or more reward level.
Risks and challenges
We have kept the risks and challenges at a minimum. We have working, tested prototypes. We have proven our ability to deliver printed circuit boards fabricated in China by a first-class production facility and assembled in America in the San Diego area using a state-of-the art automated assembly techniques. The parts on the board are available from multiple sources and do not have unduly long lead times. There are substitute parts available should shortages arise. We have been conservative in our projected delivery date and will be able to meet our delivery date for the SCIO board and PC software.
Our core team and extended team consists of proven educators, engineers and scientists. We know how to develop superior courseware. It is in the development of courseware that we need the support of Kickstarter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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