Customer: Radio Park Elementary School
Teacher: Kristen Albright
Grade(s) taught: K-5 STEM
She uses: SAM Labs STEAM Solution + Maker Kit
What really comes to mind about Kristen and her students’ work with us is VARIETY! Since picking up our hardware blocks, she’s really made the most of what they can do!
She said: “Once you learn how to use the SAM Labs kit, you can apply it to just about anything. If you have a motor, an LED light and a sensor, you can do anything with those three blocks. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
Her students have made a variety of real-world creations – from night lights to escape rooms!
“There’s a brilliant ‘night light’ lesson plan from SAM Labs with everything you need to teach it – it really is an easy lesson to do. This was extra special for me as we have remote and in-person students, who partnered up on Google Meet. As there are physical and virtual blocks on SAM Space, they were able to talk through the problem and make a night light together.
We also made an escape room in a shoe box – where students had to protect a 3D printed treasure. We talked about ‘Ocean’s 11’ where a person crawls under the different lasers in a museum – and they reacted really well to that. They started with just the motor and LED, but then added things like a tilt sensor, pressure sensor, and buzzers and really took this to the limit. To see their creativity and engagement was great.”
Our highly engaging lesson plans and technology also ease some pressure off her…
“When we have the SAM Labs blocks out, there’s very little for us to do in terms of behavioral management as they’re just engaged – they love it.”
Learning with SAM Labs blocks has also given some students a much-needed confidence boost…
She said: “One of my students isn’t always engaged, he’s the kid that puts his hoodie up and doesn’t necessarily want to collaborate with others. But we started with the car kit, and explored the SAM Labs blocks, and he just really took to understanding them and the concept. He then went and showed all the other groups how to do it. It was amazing for him to be the superstar in that classroom applying what he learned.”
And finally, we’re so happy that STEAM lessons with SAM Labs are encouraging independent problem solving!
“When students come in and say “I thought about this at home/on the school bus this morning, and now I know what I want to do to finish my project!” and then talk about it together – that’s really powerful. We have SAM Labs to thank for that.”
To hear more from Kristen, check out the webinar ‘Sparking joy with computational thinking’!
Rosie is a writer and storyteller with a passion for tech and learning, with nearly a decade’s experience writing for small tech startups and large brands alike. In her free time she enjoys walks with her pet greyhound Boris, singing in a jazz quartet and making new music.