I was able to take our fifth graders on a field trip to the St. Louis Science Center. While we were there, we saw Journey to Space in the Omnimax theater. I received an email inviting the students to draw a rover that they could possible build. Lo and behold, my students won! To bring their rovers to life, littleBits sent us Space Kits to incorporate into the models. I have been working with the modules ever since. I love how complex the product is, yet it’s easy to use and understand. I just put in an order for more Kits, so I can provide the students with new challenges this summer.
Check out the winning rover drafts and resulting models below:
I have used LEGO and K’NEX for a long time; LEGO bricks are so familiar to students. We start designing with LEGO and move into Mindstorms, so they can practice programming and see their creation come to life. We use code.org to introduce students to programming; those skills can carry over into physical computing with LEGO and littleBits.
I just received our newest shipment of littleBits last weekend. Our school year ends in two days, but I am also teaching summer school and plan on having my students bring their artwork to life, just like we did with the Mars Rovers. I am looking at different websites to get ideas on how to integrate the littleBits modules into the classroom to maximum the use of these powerful teaching tools.
As they say, the possibilities are endless. Next year I plan on having the students create a character out of a book we read called Zorgamazoo. They will need to use littleBits to bring that character to life; the motors, lights, and sensors will help their creations be more than just a drawing.
Being new myself, I take the philosophy of diving right in. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know; figure it out. Ask questions and go online to find the answers. There are so many resource available to teachers; don’t short change the students. I have started to see what I can build, it’s all about imagination. littleBits is such an intuitive product – the day after we received them, I had some kids inside during recess who were curious to know how all the parts worked. They went to town connecting things and figured out the logic and functionality of the pieces, without any guidance. As a teacher, this is how I know that we need to use this product to it fullest potential in our classrooms.
Thanks Scott for sharing your story. If you’d like to submit your own Educator Spotlight, we’d love to hear from you!