Budding young photographers (and curious adults) can put together their own camera with Bigshot, a DIY point-and-shoot aimed at teaching kids tech hardware basics. Developed partially with funding from Google, the kit includes everything needed to construct the camera including a 3 megapixel image sensor, 1.4 inch LCD and a wheel with three built in lens options – standard, panoramic and stereo for 3D images (all are fixed focal length). A rechargeable lithium-ion battery is also included, complemented by a hand crank for a little extra power when the battery dies.

The Bigshot kit includes a chassis and all of the inner-workings needed to build a fully functional point-and-shoot. 

An accompanying interactive online guide explains the concepts behind the hardware components. Recommended for children ages 8 and older, part of the Bigshot mission is introducing these advanced tech topics to elementary or middle school students. A portion of Bigshot sales will help get these cameras into the hands of underprivileged children around the world.

The Bigshot website features a 'learn' section which contains a lot of admirably clear, comprehensive technical information about digital cameras. It's an excellent learning resource - and not just for beginners.

Originally developed by a professor at Columbia University, Bigshot has been licensed for production and distribution around the world. It's currently available online for $89 (not including shipping), though online orders are limited to North America.