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Collaborations between STEM toy manufacturers and educational institutions are becoming increasingly common as both parties recognize the potential benefits of working together to create innovative products and curriculums. This blog post will explore some examples of these collaborations and the impact they have on STEM education.
LEGO Education has a long-standing partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab to develop new educational tools and curriculums that integrate LEGO products with cutting-edge research in learning sciences. This collaboration has led to the development of innovative products like LEGO Mindstorms, which combines LEGO building elements with programmable robotics components to teach children about engineering, programming, and problem-solving.
Sphero, a company that creates app-enabled robotic balls, has partnered with various educational institutions and organizations to develop curriculum-aligned learning materials that incorporate their products. For example, Sphero has collaborated with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to create a series of standards-based lessons and activities that teach coding, programming, and computational thinking skills.
littleBits, a company that produces modular electronic components for building and prototyping, has partnered with the New York Hall of Science to develop the littleBits STEAM Student Set. This product is designed for use in classrooms and incorporates a curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to teach students about engineering, design, and invention.
Kano, a company that creates DIY computer kits, has partnered with Code.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science education. Through this collaboration, Kano has developed a range of curriculum resources and activities that integrate their products with Code.org’s Hour of Code initiative, which aims to introduce millions of students worldwide to computer programming.
Makeblock, a company that produces robotics kits and STEAM education tools, has collaborated with Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute to develop a comprehensive robotics curriculum for K-12 students. This curriculum, called “mBlock Blockly,” is designed to teach students about robotics, programming, and engineering concepts using Makeblock’s mBot and mBlock platforms.
In conclusion, collaborations between STEM toy manufacturers and educational institutions can lead to the development of innovative products and curriculums that enhance STEM education and provide children with engaging, hands-on learning experiences. By working together, these organizations can help inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors.