littleBits, the award-winning company that empowers kids to be inventors, announced that educators at the forefront of STEAM curriculum across the country are utilizing the littleBits Code Kit during Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code (December 4-10). Through the engagement with games and hands-on learning, students are using the Code Kit to invent, create and collaborate as a way to get students interested and engaged in coding.
STEAM educator, Christopher Kunkel of Hoboken Charter School, has been using the littleBits Code Kit since its launch this year. For Hour of Code, Kunkel’s ‘Girls Who Code’ club for the sixth through eighth grades will invite fourth and fifth grade young woman to attend for an afternoon during Hour of Code. “The older students get a chance to teach the younger ones about coding and they are excited to share what they have learned,” said Kunkel. “We will have about 50 young women in attendance for the afternoon and we will use the littleBits’ Code Kit to help engage the younger students.”
“Code.org should be commended for its work to open children’s minds to an important component of today’s technological revolution,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. “The Hour of Code is just one element of what is becoming a dynamic and significant shift to more advanced STEAM education. We are thrilled to be working with Code.org in the inaugural year of our Code Kit to benefit students from all walks of life.”
Another New Jersey STEAM educator, Billy Krakower, a teacher at Beatrice Gilmore Elementary School in Woodland Park plans to use the littleBits Code Kit with the Gifted & Talented program and the rest of his students will be learning about coding through the code.org website. “I have used the coding kits in the past with my students on a collaboration project with High School students. The kids are so involved in what they are doing they don’t want to leave my class. I have to remind that class is over,” said Krakower. “As a teacher, it’s rewarding to see the kids so engaged in learning.”
Throughout the week of December 4, Code.org has encouraged teachers to work with students for one hour of coding, with free courses available for students as early as pre-readers on the organization’s website. Through a partnership with Code.org, littleBits will donate 150 coding kits to under-resourced schools in the US that participate in Hour of Code. Code.org will work with schools to select the winners and littleBits’ Code Kits will be sent to the schools after the Hour of Code event. Educators are encouraged to learn more about incorporating the littleBits Code Kit into Hour of Code through this link.
Unlike other coding products available for classrooms today, the littleBits Code Kit is the first kit to combine block-based programming with real-world engineering. Using littleBits’ electronic building blocks the kit empowers students to create their own games. The accompanying app, available for PC, Mac & Chromebooks, guides students through the fundamentals of coding through video tutorials and step-by-step inventions.
Earlier this year littleBits launched the new Code Kit for grades 3-8 designed specifically for use in STEAM classrooms. Each littleBits Code Kit includes all of the materials needed for up to three students to invent and code simultaneously.
To ensure the Code Kit was accessible yet challenging right out of the box, littleBits enlisted the help of 29 educators from across the country. STEAM Educators helped create the curriculum that accompanies the Code Kit and provided feedback to the overall design and application of the product in the classroom. This extra step has led to early praise for the Code Kit from both teachers and students.Related Articles: