STEM + Art: One of the Greatest Love Stories of Our Time
By Allison VanNest, Head of Communications at littleBits
Romeo and Juliet. Turner and Hooch. Peanut butter and jelly. These are some of the greatest couplings of all-time.
But for educators, perhaps the most impactful love story is that of STEM + Art, or STEAM! Historically, art has been key in the work of scientists like Charles Darwin and Leonardo DaVinci. In fact, the arts play a big role in empowering the solutions to scientific problems given the right brain’s ability to be creative, visualize, and think holistically.
At littleBits, we emphasize the “Art” in STEAM because we know that good design is inextricably linked with good technology. Through creativity, kids are able to use their imagination to come up with unique ideas and see them come to life. Let’s look at some Valentine’s Day-themed inventions where art and technology join together for epic results.
“LEGO of My Heart!”
Where is the love of your life right now? When your Valentine comes home and turns on the light, the LEGO heart spins and the buzzer sounds. Then, as the heart casts its shadow over the light sensor, the DC motor spins more slowly and the buzzer changes pitch.
Sweetheart Slot Machine
Try your luck with this sweetheart Slot Machine and win a handful of candy hearts for your special someone. The slot machine operates just like the real thing: pull the lever to start the graphics spinning on three DC motors. As they stop spinning in succession, win big when three hearts line up. When the hearts align, so do three bright LEDs and three corresponding light triggers. This signals the servo-activated trap door to release a sweet jackpot!
Never feel lonely on Valentine’s Day again! Build a kissing machine that uses a power Bit, wire, and a DC motor — along with various craft supplies — to give you a smooch when you need it most. Instructions are available here!
As you can see, littleBits goes beyond STEM with STEAM, placing creativity at the forefront by allowing educators to incorporate art and design into technology. It’s a match made in heaven!