Over the last couple of weeks I have been running some rotations with the Year 6 students which aimed to give them experiences with electrical circuits before their STEAM unit next term. They involved rotations with littleBits, Makey-Makeys, Electric Brain Box Sets and a couple of related iPad apps. Its been a busy few weeks, but the students have enjoyed themselves immensely.
What are Little Bits? The official spiel....
littleBits makes an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. littleBits consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Simply combine the different littleBits together and start creating your own design made of sensors, motors, input and output modules
Introductory Lesson with Year 6
At the start of the lesson I provided the group with a bowl with a power (9V battery) and output (LED). I discussed the anatomy of a bit, before moving onto the four categories of bits:
We explored how bits joined together magnetically and from there I encouraged the students to connect their power and see if they could get their LED (output) to shine. Following student successes, I provided each with an pink input. Each student had a different type of switch. I instructed them to add it to their circuit. Some added it to the end of their circuit and discovered that it had no impact on their output, this being a valuable discussion point. We moved on to discuss the order of bits. I set the challenge of creating a circuit with multiple outputs and inputs to control them. The majority of students took a little time to work on this but were all successful in the end. Without much in the way of prior learning to base their explanations, the students made connections and constructed a pleasing understanding. We ended the lesson by testing how the REG LED could be adjusted with the tiny screwdrivers from the littleBits Library.
The images below were used to support the lesson in our Class Notebook, which I found on the Resources for Education on the littleBits website.
Sharing Learning with Class Dojo
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