KIBO by KinderLab


"Our KIBOs take on some important jobs.  In one lesson, students program them to rescue baby bears that are lost in deep dark caves. (Our caves are constructed with old cardboard boxes, the imagination of the students dresses them up.)  They love to train KIBO to navigate the twists and turns of our caves.  Most of all, they love programming with the light sensor and the light - if the cave gets dark and scary, then KIBO should turn on her flashlight!"

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

All Students




Pre-K - 5

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

Studies published in peer-reviewed education journals from Universities such as Tufts report improvements in STEM skills and attitudes about STEM.


Program Overview

KIBO is a robotic kit specifically designed as a STEM education platform for young children aged 4-7 years old.

With KIBO, children imagine, build, decorate, program, and bring their own robots to life! Learning with KIBO is fun, imaginative and easy. Your youngest learners will playfully discover STEAM concepts by coding with wooden building blocks, create programs and sequences and learn the Engineering Design Process.

Young children learn by doing. KIBO gives them the chance to collaborate in groups and to produce ideas that are physical and tangible—exactly what their young minds and bodies need. KIBO does this without requiring screen time from PCs, tablets or smartphones.

Designed for open-ended play, as well as structured curricula, KIBO enables kids to make almost anything they can think of: a character from a story, a carousel, a dancer, a race car, a helicopter. With KIBO, young children can become programmers, engineers, designers, artists, dancers, directors, choreographers, and writers – anything they want to be.

The program is standards based, and cross curricular, so teachers can easily incorporate KIBO into their existing lesson plans. KinderLab Robotics, makers of KIBO, also provides research-based curriculum and training to help teachers introduce STEM into their classrooms.

KinderLab’s mission is universal STEM literacy. Despite increasing emphasis on STEM in schools, significant gaps exist by gender, race, and income. Research also shows that early childhood is the optimal time to introduce STEM, but schools typically wait until middle or high school. KinderLab developed KIBO to address these issues.

How To Get Involved

Corporations can get involved by donating KIBO Classroom Packages to elementary classrooms in their headquarters city.  This could appeal to corporations in STEM industries. A typical classroom package costs $5,600.00 and includes robots, teaching materials and professional development.  In the case of large scale donations KinderLab could inscribe a corporate logo of the contributor onto each KIBO. For large scale operations KinderLab could train schools and corporations to collaborate in a STEM fair.

Funders and Partners


National Science Foundation:

  1. Phase 1 SBIR
  2. Phase 1 SBIR
  3. Phase 2 SBIR

Equity Investors:

  1. Brain Robotics Capital
  2. Netposa Technologies
  3. EdTech Accelerator Fund
  4. Andrew Rallis
  5. Charles and Charlene Hyle
  6. John Dugan


Jeff Miller
(781) 894-4022

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.