Today we are beyond excited to announce the launch of the littleBits STEAM Student Set, a powerful toolbox for invention-based learning that is easy to teach and fun to use.
We are incredibly energized and committed to the mission of inspiring the next generation of inventors, and helping them supercharge their skills of problem-solving, creative thinking and collaboration.
Today’s students are extremely tech savvy, but much of their relationship with technology is one of consumption. We believe we need to encourage students to be creators, so that they can thrive in a complex, fast-moving and rapidly changing technical world. We believe it is not enough to know how circuits (or for that matter any technologies) work; it is even more important for students to be able to identify a problem in their lives and work to solve it creatively. For this reason, we have built the littleBits STEAM Student Set and all of our upcoming educational programs and products on the ethos of invention-based learning. Through inventions and challenges, we can engage students in very important topics that they could otherwise perceive as dry or archaic. Students engage with invention-based learning by moving through the littleBits Invention Cycle: a student- and teacher-friendly framework for approaching the engineering design process that is woven throughout our challenges and companion lessons. Over the past months and years we have seen students’ eyes light up time and time again when they create these inventions, and we are thrilled to see it translate to engaging learning experiences that are also rigorous.
We are also proud to be focused on the next generation of STEM, known as STEAM, a term coined by the former President of the Rhode Island School of Design, John Maeda, that adds Art (and Design) to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Art and Design help broaden the horizons of students, encourage them to pool ideas from different disciplines, to try and fail, and most importantly, to build their creative confidence.
On a personal note, I was trained as an engineer in a very traditional way – rigid, by-the-book learning for learning’s sake – and it almost drove me to leave the field. But once I started to use technology as a creative tool to solve real-world problems in interdisciplinary ways, I fell in love with engineering again. Our goal for the littleBits STEAM Student Set is to inspire students to fall in love with STEAM the same way I did, and to gain the 21st-century skillsets and mindsets that will help these future leaders shape the world and prepare for careers that haven’t even been invented yet.
I am in awe of the educators I meet everyday who tackle learning with enthusiasm and creativity. Thank you for bringing us along on your – and your students’ – journey into invention. I invite everyone to join our community and get the world inventing.
CEO and Founder, littleBits