Mensa Partners With Educational Toymaker to Develop Kids’ Coding Skills Through Art
Absolutely, learning can be fun — so says American Mensa and toys and games maker Educational Insights, which recently announced a partnership. Their first venture is a coding robot named Artie 3000, recently debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Artie 3000 is a drawing robot that helps kids learn to code. It takes drawings and designs, simple and complex, and turns them into “drag and drop” code that can be put on any computer, tablet, or smart device.
Educational Insights is collaborating with Mensa for Kids to develop educational Artie activities that will be available online later this year. The toymaker also worked with Mensa in research for the initiative, in the process finding that 96 percent of parents surveyed believed coding principles would help their kids regardless of their future career paths.
“American Mensa and the Mensa Foundation value the importance of coding in helping kids reach their greatest potential,” American Mensa CEO Trevor Mitchell said. “We have fallen in love with Artie, which not only helps kids develop these skills but does so through artistic expression.”
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Mitchell joined Educational Insights’ Janene Russell to moderate the panel “Cracking the Coding Question, Why Learn to Code?” where speakers discussed the many ways coding can teach kids to experiment while providing the confidence to make mistakes. At the end of the session, Artie was presented with honorary membership into Mensa, a status achieved by only two other fictional characters: Lisa Simpson and Mr. Peabody.
Artie comes pre-programmed with a variety of designs like numbers and letters, shapes, games, and line-art for coloring. Along with future lesson plans on Mensa for Kids, Educational Insights also offers Artie learning activities for teachers and parents at codewithartie.com.
While the coding robot is the first collaboration between Educational Insights and Mensa, the organizations expect to launch other products together that celebrate learning through fun.