The MaKey MaKey, created by JoyLabz, is one of the most well-known STEAM tools in K-12 education. What exactly is it, though?? Technically, the MaKey MaKey works like any keyboard or mouse, sending signals to a computer to execute the functions of clicking the mouse or hitting the space bar, right arrow, left arrow, up arrow, or down arrow. When users close a circuit using the alligator clips and a conductive object, the signal is sent to the computer, just as if a button was pressed on the keyboard or mouse. Not only can kids find super creative ways to test conductivity using the MaKey MaKey, but they can also try programing by using the back of the board!
Dash, a super fun and interactive robot, is one of the most well-known EdTech tools on the market today. Created by Wonder Workshop, Dash is packed with educational potential and is designed for students aged six and up. Ready to go right out of the box, students are able to program Dash to dance, sing, move, and more. While playing with Dash, kids are guaranteed to learn a variety of 21st century skills, such as design thinking, spatial awareness, scientific thinking, mathematical reasoning, creative storytelling, and computational thinking.
Bloxels is in a field of its own. Why? It empowers students as young as five years old to try their hand at video game design. Seriously, students from grades K-8 can build an entire video game from scratch with Bloxels’ blocks and gameboard! It’s a totally hands-on experience during which students use the different colored blocks to design layouts, characters, and graphics on their 13x13 gameboard for their very own video game. Bloxels truly demystifies video game design by simplifying the process to building with blocks.
Dexter Industries’ line of GoPiGo build-your-own robotics kits are top of the line. They are powered by a Raspberry Pi and come in wide ranges of sizes to fit all needs and accomodate various classroom setups. The Base Kit is the smallest of the kits, but perfect for any students who have used a Raspberry Pi, whereas the Starter Kit is designed for those who want to purchase the Raspberry Pi along with the kit. The robot is fun to build, easy to connect to Wi-Fi, and able to be supplemented by tutorials, projects, and lessons that can be found online and support both educators and students from start to finish. Add in a little engineering, creativity, and a focus on bolstering programming skills and students will be building and coding their own robot right away!
Adding arts and crafts elements within the robotics field isn’t something teachers do all that often. And, the Hummingbird Robotics Kit isn’t an everyday kind of teaching tool. Covering engineering, arts, programming, and robotics, Hummingbird is a true STEAM experience as it combines technology and robotics with artistic creativity. Students use the kit’s components, including LEDs, motors, sensors, servos, and craft materials to build a functional robot that they can program in various languages. At the heart of the robot, is the Hummingbird Duo Controller, a board that students plug all the components into and make their robot move.