Pearson, littleBits Partner on Invention-Based STEM Ed
- By Joshua Bolkan
Pearson and littleBits have partnered to bring the latter's invention-based model of learning to Pearson's Elevate Science curriculum.
For use in grades 3-8, "Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox" aims to blend print and hands-on resources through modeling and designing inventions capable of solving real-world problems. Features of each grade-specific toolbox include:
- A set of littleBits electronic building blocks and invention accessories;
- Craft materials;
- Student instructions;
- Documentation tools;
- A quick start guide for teachers; and
- Educator lessons.
Aligned to state standards, the toolboxes are designed to be an extension of the "uEngineer It!" sections of Pearson's Elevate Science curriculum and ask students and feature challenges such as inventing a circuit designed to conserve energy, designing a plant with structures that can help it survive, creating a viewer that helps users find constellations in the night sky, designing a communications device for use by astronauts in space and designing buildings that can withstand earthquakes.
"Thousands of schools around the country are already using littleBits with their students," said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits, in a prepared statement. "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."
The toolboxes will become available on a rolling basis "as the science curriculum adoption cycle moves through each state," according to a news release, "beginning in Florida in 2018 and then California in 2019."
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.