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LightUp: Toys Teaching Kids to Code – Now On Kickstarter

Earlier today, LightUp launched its newest kit, Faraday, on Kickstarter. The Faraday Kit marks the debut of LightUp Code and is named after English scientist Michael Faraday who discovered the basic principles of electromagnetism. Kids can build their own projects in the real world and wirelessly program them via Bluetooth from an iPad. Drag-and-drop code blocks and guided tutorials make it easy for early engineers and young innovators. Kids can learn about the “Internet of Things” and build exciting projects including a burglar alarm, a jukebox, and a sunrise-triggered alarm. Visit for more details. The company has already raised $19,000 in the first half day of their campaign.

As STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) continues to grow in importance in schools around the globe, LightUp is best known for developing a line of connected toys that teach kids how the world around them works through magnetic circuit blocks and an augmented reality tutor app. With LightUp kids can explore the world of electronics and coding to discover how to build things, learn how electricity flows and ultimately how to program a circuit on their own.  Built to provide kids with a way to learn from their mistakes through trial and error, LightUp aims to inspire kids to learn about science and engineering while helping them build confidence in their problem-solving ability.

“We’ve built LightUp to use the latest technologies to enable anyone to learn about science, technology, engineering and math,” said Pondicherry. “What’s truly amazing about LightUp is its ability to teach kids how to control their own world with circuits and code, through trial and error. Our interactive LightUp Learning app follows you, teaching step by step how to build a circuit and simultaneously reviewing your progress and instructing you how to complete the project based on how you put together each component. Think of it as a book that follows you.  In addition, recent headlines big and small have been focusing on the issues related to gender neutrality in the toy space, and LightUp is one of the few examples that is truly appropriate and intriguing for both boys and girls.”

Founded by Stanford entrepreneurs Josh Chan, a teacher, and Tarun Pondicherry, an engineer, LightUp combines magnetic building blocks with a mobile app to teach anyone about how electronics work in a fun, simple and easy way. The LightUp Learning app utilizes augmented reality to guide kids through the actual project. Using your tablet’s or smartphone’s camera, the app recognizes when something isn’t working and shows them how to fix it. When the project is working, the app displays how the electricity is flowing — something Pondicherry calls “X-ray vision into circuits.” The blocks, which range from simple components like a battery and buzzer, to more advanced components like microprocessors, all snap together magnetically and let kids build projects like a nightlight, music box and TV remote.

“Anyone can learn how to code with our visual programming environment featuring drag-and-drop code blocks and guided tutorials,” said Chan. “We can’t wait to see what kids create once they can connect their projects to the Internet of Things.”

Building your own project with LightUp is a simple three-step process.

1.    Build: Snap together magnetic blocks (battery, lights and more) to your circuit.

2.    Learn: Use the LightUp app to learn about your circuit (review your circuit, adjust any mistakes and see electricity flow!).

3.    Code: Connect your LightUp circuit to a computer, or iPad via Bluetooth, and code your project to do anything.

Named after some of the world’s most successful inventors, in addition to the upcoming Faraday Kit, two LightUp kits are currently available:

  • EDISON KIT: Welcome to the wonderful world of electronics! Get ready to learn electronics and build creative projects that will help you understand how the technology around you works. MSRP $49.99

“We have had an exceptionally strong initial response to LightUp both from retailers and consumers, and look forward to helping today’s youth learn about electronics and how to build things in a fun and creative way,” adds Chan.


For more information please visit


Twitter: @LightUp

About LightUp

LightUp brings the fun and interactivity of mobile games to educational toys in the real world. The first two award-winning products, the Edison and Tesla Kit, teach kids how to explore their world with electronics and code. Kids can build exciting projects by snapping together magnetic circuit blocks, and then use the LightUp Learning app (for iPad and iPhone) to interactively learn important concepts. The app includes introductory projects to get started, with new project ideas added every week. Lightup Lens, the in-app augmented reality feature, helps kids out when things don’t work, and even gives them X-ray vision by letting them see electricity flow!

Josh, a teacher, and Tarun, an electrical engineer, started LightUp after meeting at Stanford to create toys that teach kids the skills and concepts they’ll need to know as the scientists, engineers, and innovators of the future.

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