What is the Premium Curriculum? – Piper


Students learn through a Piper blueprint, software challenges, and tutorials as they develop problem solving and collaboration skills.

The Piper Learning Experience includes 5 phases:

PHASE 1: Build a working computer using diagrams on a blueprint.

PHASE 2: Discover circuitry and electronics concepts in StoryMode by completing levels in Piper's custom-designed Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft.

PHASE 3: Learn to code by completing foundational physical computing projects in PiperCode.

PHASE 4: Extend understanding with design thinking by exploring creative games, projects, hackathons, and design challenges.

PHASE 5: Deconstruct the Piper Computer Kit, reflect on the experience, and explore the context of computing systems.

Phase Tools and Applications Students Will


Build the Piper Computer

  • Piper Computer Kit
  • Blueprint
  • Spare Parts Kits/Coins

Build the Piper Computer using the blueprint, hardware, and screwdriver. Practice reading visuals and learn about the components of a working computer


Discover Electronics

  • Piper Computer Kit Software: StoryMode
  • Electrical components: i.e. breadboards, jumper wires

Complete levels in Piper's custom Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft to learn about circuits, inputs, outputs, breadboard, wiring, buttons, switches, buzzer, LEDs and more.


Learn to Code

  • Piper Computer Kit Software: PiperCode
  • Electrical Components ie LEDs & mini breadboards

Follow project tutorials to code for physical devices in the block-based language, Blockly, and learn foundational computer science principles like loops, sequences, and events.


Extend Student Understanding with Design Thinking

  • MiniGames (StoryMode moons)
  • Creative Mode
  • PiperCode: Build Games
  • My Projects (PiperCode programming environment)

Practice the Design Thinking process to play Creative Mode to alter StoryMode levels, design a game bot, and create music in PipHop. Complete more complex PiperCode projects, including games. Solve real-world problems by creating unique devices with the Design Thinking protocol.


Deconstruct & Reflect

  • Piper Computer Kit
  • Blueprint
  • Inventory Checklist

Disassemble the Piper Computer Kit and take inventory to ensure all of the parts are in the box for reuse by future students. Reflect on the experience, explore computers in everyday life, learn about computers' impact on the environment, and redesign the Piper Computer Kit.


With Piper, students learn STEAM with a hands-on and student-centered experience. When students learn through the Piper blueprint, software challenges, and coding tutorials, then develop problem solving and collaborative learning skills. After learning and practicing the fundamentals, they can then build off of this foundation towards a higher-level creative experience.

After Piper, students will know and be able to do the following:

  • Build a computer with the parts provided by reading exploded diagrams on an engineering blueprint
  • Learn about circuits and electrical components to connect complex circuits with simulations in Piper's StoryMode (our custom-built version of the Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft):
  • Connect circuits with the Raspberry Pi, breadboards, and jumper wires to learn about electronics and conductivity
  • Discover commonly used inputs and outputs (buttons, switches, LED lights and buzzers)
  • Understand binary states and both series and parallel circuits
  • Write code to solve problems using a block-based language (Blockly) in PiperCode
  • Explore computational thinking and view the relationship between visual and text-based programming languages.​
  • Program physical devices and interactive games using Blockly in PiperCode

PiperCode is also an opportunity to extend learning with deeper engineering design and computational thinking challenges. Learners quickly progress from simple to complex computer science concepts and practices.

Specifically, students will:

  • Review key electronics and programming understandings
  • Understand how to use design thinking to solve problems
  • Practice critical thinking
  • Explore computational thinking practices by completing prompts, creating code, or debugging and remixing base projects. (See more information about computational thinking in the Appendix).
  • Express creativity by designing and creating their own projects
  • Extending and transitioning between block-based and text-based languages