We had a great time in the children's room this week making Halloween decorations for our Tinkering Thursday class for grades 4 & 5 using littleBits. Besides the littleBits, this program cost $7 in Halloween decorations at the local dollar store. We are fortunate to have littleBits deluxe kits as well as base kits to mix and match.
The most important thing to have extra is:
*blue power bits and batteries (since a 9V battery can only power so many bits at once and you can't add extra power circuits onto your original).
*orange wire bits (to extend their led lights or buzzers off of the circuit bases).
I began the one hour class by opening the kits and having kids experiment with all the bits available, towards the 20 minute mark I showed them all the decorations they had to work with and they began thinking about how they could design circuits that went with it.This is where the orange wire bits came in handy .
One thing I wish is that we could hang these on the walls. The littleBits bases with the circuits are too heavy (not to mention we can't tape anything to the walls with any adhesive strength to it) but we made do on our display table. What I found the most interesting about this program is I only had 5 kids sign up, only one of them being a girl. With our huge after school population, I just came out of the room and said "Who wants to help make Halloween decorations for the children's room?" and immediately 4 other girls jumped in. I'm curious if I said "Who wants to build circuits?" if it would have elicited the same response. We have to think about how we approach our marketing to kids especially those that label themselves "not really into science" (like the younger version of ME). What if I just labeled these as craft programs? Food for thought.