Pearson + littleBits = Invention-Based Science Curriculum
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The call to revamp the traditional direct model of instruction has been heard loud and clear. Pearson, the world’s learning company leading the K-12 science market in the United States, has partnered with littleBits, the technology startup that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small, with its easy to use platform of electronic building blocks. Through this partnership, Pearson brings the hands-on invention-based model of learning and teaching into its 3-8 science curriculum, Elevate Science Program, with secondary coursework called, "Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox."
According to the US Department of Labor, more than 65% of today’s students will grow up having careers that do not exist yet. Traditional models of direct instruction were designed to teach a particular skill, transferred top to bottom, from teacher to student. Today, the role of education has changed. Instead of preparing for specific careers, it is vital to focus on making sure students are future-ready. By combining hands-on inventing with the rigor of learning objectives, Elevate Science + the Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox helps educators unleash powerful STEM and STEAM learning in science classroom.
Elevate Science + the Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox is a unique, blended print and hands-on 3-8 curriculum that puts students at the center of learning as they collaborate to explore ideas, investigate phenomena through modeling, design inventions that solve real world problems, and share their inventions. The program is designed to create the next generation of inventors, critical thinkers, collaborative creators and lifelong learners who are ready to tackle all sorts of challenges in their future.
“We chose to partner with littleBits because it is an innovator in transforming how science is taught and learned,” said Bethlam Forsa, Pearson’s Managing Director of U.S. Learning Services. “This collaboration continues our legacy of leadership in science education, moving beyond the textbook using a groundbreaking, hands-on inquiry approach. Paired with Elevate Science, this partnership brings the next level of inquiry and wonder to the classroom, motivating every learner to reach higher and go further.”
Every grade-specific Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox comes equipped with a set of littleBits electronic building blocks and invention accessories, craft materials, student instructions and documentation tools, quick start teacher’s guide and digital access to the educator lessons. Extending from the uEngineer It! sections in the Elevate Science curriculum, students and teachers are invited to partake in invention-based challenges that help them deepen their understanding of the engineering design cycle and science phenomena presented in the textbook. From inventing an energy conservation device, a super plant with specialized structures to help it survive, a constellation viewer that shows the stars above us, a space communication device that astronauts can use to communicate in outer space, to designing a building that can stand up to the forces felt on the Earth’s surface during an earthquake, students will be engaged to think beyond the text, examine problems in the real world, and invent the world they want to live in.
The collaboration will roll out across the country as the science curriculum adoption cycle moves through each state, beginning in Florida in 2018 and then California in 2019. Aligned to new state standards and reflecting the direction of the Next Generation Science standards, this curriculum brings the latest innovations in hands-on and invention-based learning and assessment to classrooms across the country.
“Thousands of schools around the country are already using littleBits with their students,” said Ayah Bdeir, the founder and CEO of littleBits. “They have seen first-hand the powerful teacher and student engagement that comes from hands-on learning with littleBits. Pearson and the uEngineer It! investigations bring the rigor of professional curriculum to a tool that we see, again and again, gets students’ eyes to light up with wonder and engagement. This partnership with Pearson will enable millions of students to experience that wonder, and educators will be excited to know that they are helping their students get future-ready.”
littleBits are reusable and reconfigurable so there are thousands of things that can be done with them, beyond the four lessons per grade for extended play and learning throughout the year.
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.
littleBits empowers kids around the world to become inventors. Founded in 2011 by Ayah Bdeir, its innovative platform of easy-to-use electronic blocks allows anyone to create and learn with electronics, independent of age, gender or technical ability. The company is dedicated to successfully bridging the gender gap with its gender-neutral platform, attracting an industry high thirty five percent of young girls to invent with littleBits. The company’s products have won over 150 industry awards in the toy and education industries. littleBits is headquartered in New York. For more information and inspiration, go to www.littlebits.cc/education.