It has been a while since we’ve heard from LittleBits. Last time, the DIY brand introduced the Gizmos and Gadgets kit with eyes on building a variety of projects like a mega blaster and wireless doorbells. Today, it’s launching a new collection built around on STEAM education values. You’ve likely heard of the STEM programs that are popping up at local schools all over the United States. STEAM simply adds arts and design into the equation.
LittleBits’ new Student Set is designed specifically for this curriculum and includes everything needed to get started…
While this kit will be available to any parent or child interested in STEAM-style learning, it is aimed at educators. The $300 bundle has everything you would want to start building including a 72-page guide for developing projects. Schools that purchase these kits will likely want to take advantage of LittleBits’ professional development courses that lay out the curriculum and train teachers.
The guide provides a step-by-step look at how to create any of the projects from the STEAM kit. There is 19 different pieces that are included alongside another 49 accessories like USB adapters, wheels and more. Inventors will find temperature and light sensors, motors, and LEDs, amongst other pieces in the set.
Example projects include a self-driving vehicle and daily activity tracker. Each of the projects can be adapted to different age groups. This is a wise move on the part of LittleBits’ as to not pigeon hole itself amongst certain skill levels. Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of LittleBits, has this to say about the project and importance of STEAM education:
“We believe that STEAM is essential for every classroom, every makerspace and every educational program. Elementary and middle schoolers need to be prepared for jobs and careers that quite frankly don’t even exist today. Rather than rely on outdated, top-down models of instruction, we need to better engage and excite kids through relevant, invention-based learning, to help them become the creative thinkers, collaborators and curious lifelong learners who will change the world. littleBits wants every student to have the technology literacy and problem-solving skills to create their own inventions, whether it’s a device to assist someone with a disability, an arcade game or a new household gadget. We’re working with educators to provide a way for anyone, regardless of their technical ability, to bring STEM and STEAM into the classroom in a highly impactful and engaging way.”
The STEAM Student Set is available for pre-order today direct from LittleBits. It carries a $299.99 price tag and will ship in late April. While this product may be ideal for educational settings, most parents interested in LittleBits would be better off going with one of the starter kits, like this one for $99. Check out the entire selection of LittleBits projects at Amazon for a better idea of what’s available.
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Award-Winning Startup littleBits Announces STEAM Student Set
Designed with Educators, the Powerful Toolbox for Invention-Based Learning is Easy to Teach, Fun to Use
NEW YORK, March 8, 2016 – The call to supercharge STEM and STEAM education has been heard, loud and clear. littleBits, the technology startup that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small, with its easy-to-use platform of electronic building blocks, is today announcing the littleBits STEAM Student Set, a toolbox designed with educators to engage students in powerful STEAM learning through invention. As STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education becomes a national priority following President Obama’s call to prepare 100,000 new and effective STEM teachers over the next decade and commitments of over $1 billion to STEM initiatives, the need for innovative educational tools is stronger than ever before. STEAM adds Art and Design to STEM studies, encouraging students to learn by inventing, creating and designing. With the littleBits STEAM Student Set and companion littleBits STEAM PD offering, educators now have a fun and exciting way to bring STEAM into their classrooms, libraries and makerspaces.
The littleBits STEAM Student Set engages a student’s natural love of play and curiosity through invention-based learning. Easy to scaffold, the toolbox supports learners in grades 3-8 with 19 Bits–littleBits’ electronic building blocks–and 38 accessories to bring buzzing, blinking and creative 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 thousands more ideas for the classroom. A 72-page Student Invention Guide contains guided invention challenges with step-by-step instructions, from “Invent a Self-Driving Vehicle” to explore the concept of friction, to “Hack Your Habits,” which encourages students to track their habits and invent something to improve their daily lives. An Invention Log worksheet encourages student reflection and documentation, while a Curricular Crosswalk chart provides an overview of the Next Generation Science Standards, Grade Levels and Common Core Standards that can be met by, or extended to meet, specific STEAM Student Set Challenges. For example, when students are challenged to “Invent a Throwing Arm” with littleBits, they’ll experiment with forces of motion and simple machines, and will be asked to systematically document their progress with the littleBits Invention Log.
Following the success of the award-winning littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, recommended as the “ultimate invention toolbox” by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME and WIRED, littleBits turned its attention to education, aiming to address some of the challenges that educators and administrators were facing when trying to integrate STEAM into their classrooms. With over 12,000 educators and 2,200 schools using littleBits, the company designed the STEAM Student Set so that any educator, whether they have prior technical skills or not, could bring STEAM into their classroom in a fun and engaging way.
“We believe that STEAM is essential for every classroom, every makerspace and every educational program,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. “Elementary and middle schoolers need to be prepared for jobs and careers that quite frankly don’t even exist today. Rather than rely on outdated, top-down models of instruction, we need to better engage and excite kids through relevant, invention-based learning, to help them become the creative thinkers, collaborators and curious lifelong learners who will change the world. littleBits wants every student to have the technology literacy and problem-solving skills to create their own inventions, whether it’s a device to assist someone with a disability, an arcade game or a new household gadget. We’re working with educators to provide a way for anyone, regardless of their technical ability, to bring STEM and STEAM into the classroom in a highly impactful and engaging way.”
“littleBits are an essential part of our makerspace and project-based learning across grades. For instance, we had 3rd graders use littleBits to design a city, which combined engineering concepts with art and design,” said Duncan Wilson, Principal of Fox Meadow Elementary School in Scarsdale, NY. “The STEAM Student Set is an amazing new product because it makes it even easier for educators by providing guided and open-ended challenges, companion lessons and standards alignment. Even teachers who are not at all tech-savvy find it easy to use and love how the Bits immediately engage kids in powerful STEAM learning.”
The largest school district in the country, the New York City Department of Education, is using the littleBits STEAM Student Set as one of the learning tools for grades 2-5 in its Summer in the City STEM enrichment program.
The littleBits STEAM Student Set is available to pre-order at littleBits.com/education and will be sold through education product retailers for $299.95.
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