Eduporium Experiment | littleBits Rule Your Room Kit
The littleBits Rule Your Room Kit is one of littleBits' newest kits and it’s nothing short of awesome. If you’re familiar with littleBits already, you are more than welcome to skip to the next paragraph! So what are littleBits!? They are easy-to-use electronic building blocks that are magnetic and color-coded by function. The modules simply snap together, allowing for creative freedom and exploration for everyone—no experience or technical knowledge required. With over 70 modules out so far, there are infinite creation possibilities and an unlimited number of ways for kids to access their inner STEAM genius.
The winner of 15 different awards, the Rule Your Room kit is designed for kids aged 8-12, or grades 3-8. It is marketed as a kit that kids would be able to use with ordinary household items to create touch-activated inventions in their room. It comes with seven Bits and 19 accessories and, although it features fewer Bits than most of the other kits, it does include the MaKey MaKey Bit, which none of the other kits have. This Bit allows creators to transform any object they have into a touch pad, which makes for some pretty interactive learning and creative designs! Other Bits included in the Rule Your Room Kit are the buzzer, sound trigger, bargraph, dimmer, power, and servo.
The kit is also packed with accessories to encourage students to start creating something meaningful and these include various templates, a mechanical arm, USB cable, mounting boards, battery and cable, screws, screwdriver, adhesive shoes, alligator clips, and a servo mount. There is also an instructions booklet in the kit, detailing eight exciting inventions, such as a moving collage, top secret safe, programable puppet, and burglar buzzer. It comes in a plastic box, different than the magnetic clasp boxes that the Gizmos & Gadgets and other littleBits Kits come in, and can be used for some of the projects in the instruction booklet. Thousands of other project ideas can be found on their website and app as well, so students will never be short of creative ideas to try out.
I chose to experiment with Invention No. 1 - what's known as 'Creepy Eyeballs.' I followed the directions by first creating the circuit using the power, sound trigger, and bargraph Bits and added shoes to it as the diagram indicated. When it comes to littleBits, 'shoes' are tiny white pieces that easily snap onto the bottom of the Bits to offer stabalization. The cardboard template was included in the kit and was easy to fold and slide over the circuit. I tested the sound trigger by powering on the circuit and using the screwdriver to ensure the bargraph lit up when I made a sound. I banged on my desk and, boom, it worked! The kit even came with creepy eyeballs to tape in the template to provide an even scarier effect! Although this invention was simple for me, it would be a perfect introduction for younger kids since it only uses three Bits and takes minimal steps to build and see the results and concepts of electricity in action.
I should also mention that the Rule Your Room Kit is unique from other littleBits kits in that it includes the Makey Makey Bit, but does not include any coding elements or Bluetooth capabilities. It may have fewer Bits than usual, but it has exciting invention ideas that can be implemented immediately with anything kids have in your classroom, bedroom, or house. Kids will enjoy transforming boring objects into awesome interactive inventions they can use in their rooms to control and protect their stuff, and coming up with their very own creations as well. More importantly, they'll learn “how things work in real life” and develop creative confidence, curiosity, problem-solving, and STEAM skills as they reinvent and learn with littleBits. Always reusable and compatible with LEGOs, littleBits limits screen time while encouraging active playtime and STEAM learning at home or in school.
To grab a littleBits Rule Your Room Kit of your own, click here to visit the Eduporium store. And, look out a week from today for the next edition of the Eduporium Experiment featuring the MakerBot 3D printer! In the meantime, don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more and you might as well like us on Facebook, too!
Image: © littleBits Electronics