I first saw the FUZE at the Education Innovation Conference in February of 2014 (In fact I am using their mouse mat at my desk right now!). At the time I was very impressed with the concept and fell in love with the design. The kit essentially does what it says on the box: “A Raspberry Pi powered computer programming and electronics workstation”

Why did I fall instantly in love with it?

As a child of the 1980s I spent much of my time programming in BBC Basic on an Acorn Electron computer plugged into my parent’s TV. Back in the day programs were saved onto C60 cassette tapes and I still remember with fondness the loading sound! The design is so reminiscent of this time that it brought back many happy memories.

The Acorn Electron first introduced in 1983

The idea of taking a Raspberry Pi and embedding it at the heart of a robust, school friendly computer works really well with the FUSE. As both a product reviewer and a teacher running a Raspberry Pi club I could easily see this being used in the classroom and during a club setting – but more about that later.

In the kit I was sent to review there was:

In the electronics componet box there was:

FUZE unit

The FUZE is incredibly simple and quick to setup and within 5 minutes we were opening up FUZE Basic and writing our first program which obviously was “Hello World”. It was at this stage my 9 year old son who is very tech savvy and enjoys programming in Python wanted to get involved. 

After a couple of hours of writing in Basic Philip was very excited about what he could do with the FUZE.  

In summary:

If you are looking and don’t know where to start down the journey of IT and CS in school – this is definitely a good starting point. I believe that this product has been developed with the end-user in mind. I know for one, that my son will be very sad when this has to go back to the PR company next week.

Part 2 will contain more information about using the breadboard and the electronics aspect of the kit.

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