littleBits’ New Expansion Packs Put the “Technology” and “Mathematics” Back Into STEAM littleBits’ New Expansion Packs Put the “Technology” and “Mathematics” Back Into STEAM

littleBits’ New Expansion Packs Put the “Technology” and “Mathematics” Back Into STEAM

By Lindsey Gideon

Back in March, we introduced our first set of STEAM Student Set and Code Kit Expansion Packs, which provided additional bits and content banded by grade and subject. We started with Science and Computer Science, but we knew that the potential for Expansion Packs was limitless.

Today, we’re following up on our commitment to education with two new Expansion Packs focusing on Math and Technology. Each Expansion Pack solves for depth, with lessons tied to specific subjects, and breadth, with customizable paths that grow and adjust to specific grades and standards.

STEAM Student Set Expansion Pack: Mathematics

This add-on kit is focused on grade 3-5, and allows students to expand their engineering design skills with standards-aligned mathematics subject matter. When combined with the STEAM Student Set, the lessons address Common Core Math Standards and can be extended to meet Common Core ELA Standards and National Arts Standards.

The STEAM Student Set Expansion Pack: Mathematics makes math concepts fun -- inviting kids to do things like invent a machine to help them code secret messages or invent a safe that only opens with the right code.

Code Kit Expansion Pack: Technology

The Code Kit Expansion Pack: Technology is tied to expanding Code Kit's application to grades 6 - 8. This pack contains a selection of Bits and accessories that support content specific to CSTA Computer Science Standards and National Core Arts Standards.

Computational thinking concepts used in transportation and communication are made tangible through fun invention challenges like building space communication machine or self-driving car.

Here’s What Educators Have to Say

At littleBits, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without feedback from our active community of educators.

Jackie Tan (@stmsmakerlab), Maker Lab Teacher at South Tahoe Middle School, tested out the the Expansion Pack and supporting lessons, and had provided the following feedback:

“My top table group had an awesome process and an awesome invention (the reclining massage chair . . . that every car should have!). My normally lowest table group had moments of excellent process and I really like that they did not create a car. Instead, they created a simulation of a self-driving car with a steering wheel that moves back and forth after a button press. They also learned how to use the laser cutter in the process.”

Jackie is the originator of the South Tahoe Middle School Maker Lab, which is the first dedicated makerspace in the school district. The maker lab is in its third year of operation, now serving grades 6, 7, and 8. Jackie is on a mission to spread technology and making throughout Lake Tahoe Unified School District. Here, she talks about incorporating new lessons into her curriculum using the Expansion Packs:

“Our program is very new, and while I talk about the engineering design process occasionally, my students are usually designing for themselves. littleBits’ Expansion Packs allowed me to test out a lesson where they were designing for others. They really enjoyed the experience. I was quite amazed at the collaboration and teamwork exhibited in the process.”

Jackie continues: “My students have really come a long way this year. As I plan for next year, I can see now how to integrate more of a design-thinking mindset in my lesson plans.”

Both Expansion Packs will begin shipping May 31, 2019.

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