Award-Winning Startup littleBits Announces STEAM Student Set

Designed with Educators, the Powerful Toolbox for Invention-Based
Learning is Easy to Teach, Fun to Use

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The call to supercharge STEM and STEAM education has been heard, loud
and clear. littleBits,
the technology startup that is empowering everyone to create
inventions, large and small, with its easy-to-use platform of electronic
building blocks, is today announcing the littleBits
STEAM Student Set
, a toolbox designed with educators to engage
students in powerful STEAM learning through invention. As STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math) education becomes a national priority
following President Obama’s call to prepare 100,000 new and effective
STEM teachers over the next decade and commitments of over $1 billion to
STEM initiatives, the need for innovative educational tools is stronger
than ever before. STEAM adds Art and Design to STEM studies, encouraging
students to learn by inventing, creating and designing. With the
littleBits STEAM Student Set and companion littleBits
STEAM PD
offering, educators now have a fun and exciting way to
bring STEAM into their classrooms, libraries and makerspaces.

The littleBits STEAM Student Set engages a student’s natural love
of play and curiosity through invention-based learning. Easy to
scaffold, the toolbox supports learners in grades 3-8 with 19
Bits–littleBits’ electronic building blocks–and 38 accessories to
bring buzzing, blinking and creative inventions to life. A littleBits
Teacher’s Guide provides hours of detailed companion lessons, curricular
connections, implementation strategies, and helpful tips, while a mobile
app provides thousands more ideas for the classroom. A 72-page Student
Invention Guide contains guided invention challenges with step-by-step
instructions, from “Invent a Self-Driving Vehicle” to explore the
concept of friction, to “Hack Your Habits,” which encourages students to
track their habits and invent something to improve their daily lives. An
Invention Log worksheet encourages student reflection and documentation,
while a Curricular Crosswalk chart provides an overview of the Next
Generation Science Standards, Grade Levels and Common Core Standards
that can be met by, or extended to meet, specific STEAM Student Set
Challenges. For example, when students are challenged to “Invent a
Throwing Arm” with littleBits, they’ll experiment with forces of motion
and simple machines, and will be asked to systematically document their
progress with the littleBits Invention Log.

Following the success of the award-winning littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets
Kit, recommended as the “ultimate invention toolbox” by The New York
Times
, The Wall Street Journal, TIME and WIRED,
littleBits turned its attention to education, aiming to address some of
the challenges that educators and administrators were facing when trying
to integrate STEAM into their classrooms. With over 12,000 educators and
2,200 schools using littleBits, the company designed the STEAM Student
Set so that any educator, whether they have prior technical skills or
not, could bring STEAM into their classroom in a fun and engaging way.

“We believe that STEAM is essential for every classroom, every
makerspace and every educational program,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and
CEO of littleBits. “Elementary and middle schoolers need to be prepared
for jobs and careers that quite frankly don’t even exist today. Rather
than rely on outdated, top-down models of instruction, we need to better
engage and excite kids through relevant, invention-based learning, to
help them become the creative thinkers, collaborators and curious
lifelong learners who will change the world. littleBits wants every
student to have the technology literacy and problem-solving skills to
create their own inventions, whether it’s a device to assist someone
with a disability, an arcade game or a new household gadget. We’re
working with educators to provide a way for anyone, regardless of their
technical ability, to bring STEM and STEAM into the classroom in a
highly impactful and engaging way.”

“littleBits are an essential part of our makerspace and project-based
learning across grades. For instance, we had 3rd graders use littleBits
to design a city, which combined engineering concepts with art and
design,” said Duncan Wilson, Principal of Fox Meadow Elementary School
in Scarsdale, NY. “The STEAM Student Set is an amazing new product
because it makes it even easier for educators by providing guided and
open-ended challenges, companion lessons and standards alignment. Even
teachers who are not at all tech-savvy find it easy to use and love how
the Bits immediately engage kids in powerful STEAM learning.”

The largest school district in the country, the New York City Department
of Education, is using the littleBits STEAM Student Set as one of the
learning tools for grades 2-5 in its Summer in the City STEM enrichment
program.

The littleBits STEAM Student Set is available to pre-order at littleBits.com/education
and will be sold through education product retailers for $299.95.

littleBits STEAM Student Set
Pre-order: March 2016
Release:
April 2016
MSRP: $299.95, 5% Discount for Educators
Ages: 8+
Available:
littleBits.com,
Barnes & Noble, CDW•G and Amazon.
Need a large-scale custom
solution? Call (917) 464-4577 to speak to a littleBits education expert.

littleBits STEAM PD

A 6-hour online professional development course (resulting in a PDU
Certificate) supports teachers integrating STEAM into their classrooms.

To learn more: littlebits.com/steampd

About littleBits

littleBits is the New York-based hardware startup that is on a mission
to Democratize Hardware by empowering everyone to Create
Inventions
, large and small, with a platform of easy-to-use Electronic
Building Blocks
. The company’s innovative building blocks snap
together with magnets to allow anyone to build, invent, and prototype
with electronics independent of age, gender and technical background –
no soldering, wiring, or programming required. littleBits breaks down
powerful technology – from music with the littleBits Synth Kit, to the
Internet of Things with the Smart Home Kit – and makes the technology
accessible and easy to understand. The company was founded in 2011 by
MIT graduate, TED Senior Fellow and cofounder of the Open Hardware
Summit, Ayah Bdeir, and has grown to be a global leader in hardware.
Bdeir was named one of
Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business
, one of Inc.’s “35
Under 35” and “Entrepreneurs to Watch,” one of Entrepreneur’s “10
Leaders to Watch,” one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are
Reinventing the American Dream, and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35
Innovators Under 35. The littleBits platform includes more than seven
kits and 67 interoperable modules with millions of products sold in over
100 countries around the world. The company was named in CNN’s “Top 10
Startups to Watch”, one of the CNBC Next List, and has been profiled by
the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Wired, Popular Mechanics. To learn more, visit littleBits.com.

About STEAM/STEM

While the STEM movement—a call to elevate the studies of science,
technology, engineering and mathematics as a national priority—began to
take shape in 2006, a separate push to add the arts to that equation,
transforming STEM to STEAM, followed soon after. By integrating art and
design with STEM subjects, schools are working to strengthen students’
abilities to be creative and flexible problem-solvers, to explore
different ideas, to recognize failures as opportunities for discovery
and to communicate well with others. With STEAM projects, students learn
by inventing, creating and designing—and understanding the true meaning
of human-centered design.

Contacts

For littleBits
Beth Mellow, 212-981-5143
Beth_Mellow@dkcnews.com