Educator Spotlight: Richard Born

Bringing Middle and High School STEM Lessons to Life

December 15, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 11.03.54 AM

Associate Professor Emeritus Richard Born, known in the littleBits community as RichB, is an educator superstar and Community Hall of Fame maker who has created over 40 littleBits projects and lessons. Richard discusses how he uses littleBits for teaching physics, computer programming and mathematics concepts in this week’s spotlight.


littleBits lets me play.

littleBits lets me create.

littleBits lets me develop learning activities for the classroom.

littleBits motivates.


Tell us about your current teaching experience.

Until my official retirement in December 2014 from the College of Business at Northern Illinois University, I had been teaching courses in discrete-event simulation modeling, business applications of geographic information systems, and computer programming in Visual Basic and JavaScript.


How did you discover littleBits? What drew you to our product/company?

I discovered littleBits during the summer of 2013. It’s been awhile, but I believe I bumped into it somewhere on the web. I liked the modularity of littleBits, but in particular, I saw that it had some real great potential in STEM education.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 11.03.20 AM


Which product did you use and what made you decide to choose this?

I bought the Starter Kit and the Extended Kit. I believe that these were the only kits available in the summer of 2013 (true!).


How are you using littleBits in your programs?

I use littleBits to develop STEM lessons for junior high and high school level students. Most of the lessons have been in the areas of physics (and physical science) and computer programming with the Arduino module. I have also developed a variety of projects making use of the cloudBit. View all of Richard’s lessons here.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.00.41 PM


If you could challenge your students to make anything with any amount of littleBits, what would you have them create?

I would ask students to create circuits demonstrating some basic principles of physics, computer science, mathematics, statistics and probability.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.03.21 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.03.05 PM


What advice can you offer teachers who are new to littleBits?

Play, innovate, and enjoy!


Thanks Richard for sharing your story. If you’d like to submit your own Educator Spotlight, we’d love to hear from you.