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[Discuss] Gift for a 9-year-old engineer?

On Mon, Apr 04, 2016 at 07:50:17AM -0400, Daniel Barrett wrote:
> Any suggestions for a birthday present for a 9-year-old budding
> software engineer?  My nephew has been writing programs on Scratch
> (, a programming site for kids, and teaching himself
> HTML and CSS. He also loves taking electronics apart and building
> stuff, and he blogs about topics like Apple's phone encryption on his
> own web site. The little guy has a true passion for this stuff.
> I thought about getting him a Raspberry Pi kit, but I haven't used one
> myself and don't know if he could get it working by himself. (His
> parents have no background and I live 3000 miles away. Good idea or
> not?) I also thought about this book:
> but at age 9, maybe books aren't the most exciting gifts?
> Last year, his choice of gift was "computer consulting hours with his
> Uncle Dan" (me) by Skype. This year he says, "He can surprise me. I
> trust Uncle Dan." Talk about pressure! :-)
> His home computers are all Macs, if that matters.
> Any tips appreciated. Thank you.

It's expensive, but the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set is an excellent
building kit for making robotic devices. It has sensors, motors,
and a controller. Several languages are available, including
Scratch, Java and C.


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