littleBits STEAM Student set, Up to 4-students
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- The STEAM Student Set engages kids in STEM/STEAM learning through creating fun inventions.
- Supports learners in grades 3-8 with 19 Bits and 38 accessories, a 72-page Student Invention Guide with 8 challenges and 10 companion lessons, plus a 100+ page online Teacher’s Guide and Invention Logs.
- Integrates Art & Design into traditional STEM learning.
- Works for classroom/makerspace/home instruction or self-directed learning.
- If you are an educator, this kit sets you up for 16+ hours of step-by-step STEM/STEAM teaching and links to NGSS & Common Core
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Easy to teach. Fun to use. The littleBits STEAM Student Set is the easiest way to integrate powerful STEM/STEAM learning into the classroom or home. Designed with educators, the toolbox engages students in learning through creating inventions while linking to NGSS/Common Core standards.
From the Manufacturer
Create tomorrow’s innovators and idea-makers with littleBits electronic building blocks. These easy-to-use Bits make creative discovery and invention a snap for next-generation thinkers, designers, and tinkerers of all ages and genders. No programming, soldering or wiring required.
Develop creative, design, and critical-thinking skills. Evolve the way you think with the littleBits cycle of invention: create > play > remix > share. Whether you use the instructions or build straight from your imagination, start creating something. Use it, improve it, experiment - then inspire others by showing the world what you’ve created.
Sets you up for 16+ hours of STEM/STEAM learning with 8 engaging challenges, and additional companion lessons.
Getting started is simple with a Student Invention Guide and Teacher’s Guide.
Loved by superintendents, principals, and teachers in school districts worldwide.
Inspire your kids to create solutions to real-world problems with littleBits and powerful STEAM/STEM learning. Engage kids in problem solving, creative thinking, and collaboration with this award winning kit.
Describe your product in 3 words.
Simple. Playful. Powerful.
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
I am inspired by the other building blocks of our time: the concrete block, the LEGO brick, the transistor. My main motivation in creating littleBits was to equip people with the skills and interests needed to thrive in today’s tech-filled world. At littleBits, we see technology as a language, and believe that nowadays, those who don’t speak it can be paralyzed. Everyone should be able to build, invent, and prototype with electronics independent of age, gender and technical background, and littleBits allows just that.
What makes your product special?
littleBits is more than a product, it is a platform for large and small inventions. We spend more than eleven hours a day with technology, but most people don’t know how it works, and spend the majority of their time consuming media. We believe people are born creative, and our electronic building blocks help to unleash the inventor within by engaging them in an incredibly powerful, exhilarating and most importantly, fun process of invention, rather than prescribing one-off experiences.
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
Sampling, testing, redesigning, resampling and retesting our magnetic connectors was nothing short of exhausting. We worked with world class designers and manufacturers to perfect the magical and gratifying "click" of the Bits connecting, to make creating inventions with littleBits extremely intuitive and fun.
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This item littleBits STEAM Student set, Up to 4-students
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|Sold By||One Liberty Corner||Amazon.com||Real Deal sales||Amazon.com||Intuition Sales||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||7.5 x 12.2 x 3 in||3 x 4.75 x 2 in||7.5 x 12.2 x 3 in||12 x 16 x 6 in||6.06 x 2.57 x 7.86 in||1.5 x 12.2 x 3.93 in|
Top customer reviews
This is our third littleBits set. We also have purchased the Cloud starter set and the Korg Synthesizer set. I loved the synth set, but my son was unimpressed. I got the cloud set with the idea of setting up switches in minecraft and having them affect the real world, or vice versa. That is truly amazingly cool. If you aren't familiar with minecraft, just imagine this... Minecraft is a world where you have a little guy (Steve) who goes around and cuts down trees, digs for coal and iron and diamonds and such, and builds houses and things with the wood he chops up and the iron and metals he mines. Throw in some Zombies, potions and other zany imaginations and then connect to millions of other players (if you choose) and you have minecraft.
Now, along comes your child and he builds a house in minecraft. With the littleBits cloud starter pack, he could put a pressure plate at his front door of his home that he built in minecraft, and while he is away from the game, another player ventures past his home. This person decides to enter your son's home. Perhaps a friend, perhaps a burglar? Either way, it is an event you might want to be made aware of, much like if it were to happen in the real world - right? Well, with the littleBits cloud set, when the player steps on the pressure plate at his front door in the game, a light - or buzzer - in the REAL WORLD could be activated and your child could be alerted to check on the game and see who is visiting his virtual home.
Or, turn things around. Let's say you want to alert someone in the game when something happens in the "real world." Perhaps you want to know when your older brother comes up the stairs because he is going to kick you off his computer and you want to have time to save your game. WIth the littleBits cloud set, you could have a sensor and as your brother comes up the stairs, a light comes on in the game alerting you that something is happening in the real world.
It is pretty fantastic stuff, especially if you take it to the logical extreme and add virtual reality goggles to the experience. At that point, you might be so deep inside the game that you would not notice your brother's entrance into the room, but the littleBits cloud kit could alert you in the game that something is happening in the real world that needs your attention. We are talking multiverse reality here.
So what does the cloud kit have to do with this one? Everything. This kit is the introduction to littleBits that attempts to reach out to kids via the STEM/STEAM label and that makes educators and parents like it all the more. For those who aren't familiar with STEM/STEAM, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (Add "Arts" and you get STEAM) and it is the new wave sweeping schools as parents try to arm their children with tools to cope with the fourth Industrial Revolution that is underway.
Like most of the other LIttleBits kits, this is about 80% sizzle and 20% steak. Which is not as bad as it sounds. The steak is really good steak, but the sizzle sure adds to the price. What you are left with is a well marketed electronics/erector set that is very pricey. The end result is a pretty decent instruction book that gives you much of the same instruction as you would get from one of the many "85/1 or 300/1 or 500/1 electronics sets."
The intruction book is a bit more basic to start out with and a little less specific, but there are plenty of real world examples. I particularly like the invertor. The kit includes a light sensor and the way it is shipped, it works the opposite as you would like in a real world situation. That is to say, it turns ON the circuit when it sense light. If you want a night light, for example, you would want it to turn ON the circuit when the light goes away. By putting the invertor in line with the power source, you then invert the setting of the light sensor and create a night light. You can do this with a switch on the light sensor, but by using the invertor, you quickly see what the invertor can do and why you would want to take a signal and deliver full power when the circuit senses ZERO and no power when a circuit senses input.
With the supplied wheels, and Lego-like attachments, it is fairly easy to build some basic electric cars, pendulums and other devices - cranes, motors, fans and more.
But there sure is a catch, it is awfully expensive for what you are getting. These are pretty standard parts for a basic electronics kit in many cases, and could easily be purchased as a kit for a third of the price. You are paying a LOT for the pretty packaging and the idiot proof magnetic connectors that make it so novel and attractive. And that is a decision you will have to make. If you think that the plain electronics kit would sit and collect dust then this may well be worth the extra expense if it will get used and your child - or student - will learn the principles that you want them to learn. That is up to you to decide. I also worry about the durability of the kit. It seems like it is relatively flimsy for kids and I had a buzzer that did not work out of the box. It took me some fiddling and prying about it before it decided to work properly. (Once I had it working, I wished that I didn't - LOL. It is noisy and annoying!!!)
I also think for $300 it should have much better packaging and storage. The box requires you to put the various littleBits devices into a plastic tray with no labeling and the wheels and gears and other plastic pieces go under the storage bin in the box. It is all crammed in very tight and not organized and it does not protect the relatively fragile pieces well at all. For $300 it should be MUCH better than it is.
But I digress. Should you buy this kit? If you think your child would do well with one of the higher end electronics kits out there for half the price, then by all means save the money. But if you think the clever packaging and easier than average design of this kit would get your kids interested in STEAM, then it is money well spent.
In closing, I would like to ask a favor of you. If you find this review helpful, please click the helpful box. If not, please leave a comment telling me how I could improve my review and what made the review "not helpful" for you. I try to share my experience as specifically as possible and I also try to provide photographs that will help other shoppers decide if a product is for them or not. In this review, I put together one of the example experiments and tweaked it to show something that I learned about LED's from my experience with lasers - namely that red lasers only take about 2 volts to power while green and blue lasers (LED's in this case) take much higher voltage to activate them. This is an oversimplification of the situation, but you can see in the photos that it does take more voltage to get to the blue portion of the LED while the red part of the rgb LED lights up very early at only 2.1 volts or even sooner. I appreciate any guidance in telling me why a review is unhelpful as I try to spend the extra time posting pictures to make my reviews more helpful. Thank you...
This set has everything that is needed to get very deeply involved in the littleBits system. There are two power sources (9V and USB powered DC). Multiple input devices are also provided including buttons, pulse generators, light sensor, and temperature sensor. Kids can use wires to connect or split signals. Then the desired output can be shown: Numerical (showing temperature, signal strength, counts, etc), lights, motor, servo, and more.
The book to teach about the products is very, very well done. It not only teaches what each component is and what it does, but it also helps show the way these simple components are at work in the world around us. It's been great, my daughter has started to think about the "How" behind all of the electrical things around us. When she pushes a button, she understands that an electrical circuit has been affected; when a switch is pushed, or a camera clicks...a microphone, a speaker, a light, a motor...she is thinking about the electrical engineering behind it. This toy has single-handedly opened her mind to a world of electricity.
If you are unfamiliar with the Little Bits sets, they are modular electronic and electric components that magnetically attach to one another creating functional circuitry. The STEAM set contains current controls (switches, dimmers, sensors), indicators (LED, numeric panel) and a variety of electro-mechanical bits such as motors, a servo and a fan. The magnetic housing of each bit clicks together with the others enabling the student to readily experiment with their circuits. Using magnetic binding has a hidden benefit in that the components cannot be ruined by incorrect connection as the polarity of the magnets keeps them from attaching the wrong way. Smart! The kit is rounded out with a couple breadboards, wheels arms and a battery or USB power supply.
The projects in the wonderfully thorough manual lead the students through an understanding of each component before they are challenged to combine parts to invent something new. Each of the projects is easy to understand and includes real-life examples of what the student has created. The challenge doesn’t end with a successful assembly though as you are encouraged to try to modify your working prototype to do something more or something different.
The Little Bits systems are an outstanding tool and make a great gift for any young person showing an interesting in the technological fields. The quality is superb and the hours of design that have gone into the Invention Guide and components themselves make this a sure bet for the classroom or bedroom. It’s worth every penny, but even more, it is an investment in someone’s future.