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Awarded Grant Summaries

Little Bits of STEM

Trudi Cadenbach, Teacher, Columbus High School

2016-2017 School Year

Description & Need:

LittleBits parts make it easy for both teachers and students to engage in STEAM by using a universal, 21st century language:electronic building blocks.  We are surrounded by technology every day and yet even our tech savvy students have little idea how it works or how to create with it.  LittleBits changes that.  The intuitive, color-coded Bits each have a specific function (ie. motion, lights, sound, sensors, internet connectivity). and all the Bits snap together with magnets to make larger circuits.  Building circuits is simple and intuitive, allowing students of any level to create powerful, sophisticated electronics in a matter of seconds.  After obtaining the basic, other items from an ever expanding library of Bits, we can grow our collection and engage in increasingly complex projects as students understanding of the system and Bits grow.

Major Objectives:

  • NeSA-S SC12.1.1 Abilities to do scientific inquiry.  By developing the abilities to use logic and evidence through the engineering of models.
  • NeSA-S SC12.1.3 Technology, Students will solve a complex design problem.  (which is assessed at the local level)
  • NeSA-S SC12.2.2 Forces and Motion.  Projects such as the invent self driving vehicle and design a throwing arm can be used in conjunction with this standard by measuring distance traveled, speed, velocity etc.
  • NeSA-S 12.2.3  Energy: Projects will demonstrate the conservation of energy, wave machines can be made to study waves along with the EMS spectrum.

Grade Levels Impacted:

All 9th grade integrated science students would have the opportunity to learn with this project.  I teach in the range of 100 9th grade integrated science students per year.  There were a total of 148 integrated science students this year.  Supplies purchased at this time will include enough for 25% of the students in integrated to use them at any one time.  All 11th and 12th grade Fundamentals of Physics students would use these extensively during the 9 week course.  I teach approx. 55 students per year.  Supplies purchased at this time will include all pieces needed to include coding with 50% of all students using them at one time.

Expansion opportunities are endless.  The general physics teachers can use them to enhance their learning and there are biology, Earth science and even chemistry lesson plans available on the website and through teacher share already.  As a more complete and larger library of littlebits is obtained, possibilities are endless.  Coding skills, electronics and technology skills will enhance any technology class students level of understanding and the littlebits program even includes the A in STEAM, with art applications.  They are designed for all ages of students, with increasing complexity of design as each student engages with them.