Teaching STEAM: Inventive Toolkits for Inventive Thinking

Since 2013, The Cube has worked in partnership with the QUT Faculty of Education to provide professional learning opportunities for pre-service teachers. The Cube provides a number of programs that connect pre-service teachers with the STEAM learning and teaching framework.

Jessica Schofield, a QUT pre-service teacher and Public Programs Facilitator at The Cube, talks us through her experiences using the toolkit littleBits, a hands-on, modular kit designed for prototyping and inventing with electronics.

Describe your experience using littleBits.

I’ve worked with littleBits as a tool for middle years education. I find them easy to use from an educator’s perspective. littleBits are a tool that I enjoy experimenting with outside of workshops as there is so much to learn with them.

How did the audience respond to littleBits?

Audiences (whether kids or adults) often respond with the phrases “that is so cool”, soon followed by “can I play with them”. littleBits are a tool that can produce outcomes quite quickly and are easy to use even when it is your first time. Audiences engage quite willingly and easily with littleBits. One of the greatest parts about introducing people to littleBits is the creativity you see emerge and the valuable conversations and sharing sessions that can be had about new or future ideas with the resource.

littleBits

How does littleBits connect to areas of the curriculum?

At face level, littleBits links quite explicitly to the ideas of electricity and circuits encountered in the upper primary/junior secondary curriculum. However, when working within the broader context of STEM or STEAM, littleBits is right at home. Curriculum can break content into defined subjects; littleBits represents how these boundaries are blurred in real life. It draws together the students’ scientific and technological knowledge and curiosities and encourages creativity when exploring their ideas.

Would you recommend littleBits as a learning tool to other educators?

I would certainly recommend littleBits as a tool to other educators. It is a tool that can be implemented into many different topics and can be included in any phase of a unit. For teachers new to littleBits, it is easy to learn to use. The resource allows the students to engage with topics across the curriculum and allows them to explore creativity, possibility and problem solving,

Learn more about collaborative and immersive teaching experiences at Creative Lab 2015, a two-day hands-on professional development program aimed at equipping STEM educators with the knowledge and skills to innovate learning through the framework of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics).

Creative Lab is presented by The Cube, Queensland Museum and kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland.

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