New York startup littleBits, the brains behind the littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, has designed a new tool to help integrate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) learning principles into the classroom.
Targeting students in grades three through eight, the STEAM Student Set toolbox was created in partnership with educators, and it aims to engage students’ love of play and curiosity through invention-based learning.
The set includes 19 bits (electronic building blocks) and 38 accessories that serve to bring a range of different buzzing and blinking inventions to life. A littleBits Teacher’s Guide provides hours of detailed companion lessons, curricular connections, implementation strategies and helpful tips, while a mobile app provides additional ideas for classroom creations.
There’s also a 72-page Student Invention Guide, which contains guided invention challenges with step-by-step instructions, as well as an invention log worksheet for reflection and documentation.
Currently, more than 12,000 educators and 2,200 schools are using littleBits. Also, the largest school district in the US, the New York City Department of Education, plans to use the new STEAM Student Set as one of the learning tools for grades two to five in its summer STEM enrichment program.
The littleBits STEAM Student Set is available for pre-order at littleBits.com/education and will be sold through education product retailers for US$299.95 starting in April.
The littleBits tool comes on the heels of a momentous 2015 in the world of STEAM, which, for example, saw the launch of MGA Entertainment’s girl-skewing franchise called Project Mc² as well as a large uptick in online coding initiatives.