Educators across Iowa are combining Storytime STEM-packs with Bee-Bot to develop STEM and computer science skills in PreK-2 students via children's literature. In an initiative funded by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and their STEM Scale Up Program to enhance the STEM skills of Iowa students, Iowa educators apply for grants to purchase Storytime STEM-Packs for their classes and libraries. Terrapin partners with Storytime STEM-packs to include-Bots in Storytime STEM Adventures.
Storytime STEM-packs are based on a popular children's book and contain all the materials needed for a variety of STEM activities to bring the story to life. Using the storybook as context, Storytime STEM-packs present children with a phenomenon or problem. Through engagement in the practice standards, they collaboratively explain the phenomenon or solve the problem, making sense of the STEM concept.
In Storytime STEM+C Adventures, students use Bee-Bots and a colorful themed mat to sequence the story and explore the narrative. Teachers report that the wide range of activities based on the story support the development of both literacy and STEM skills and are very popular with students.
Through the partnership with Terrapin, Storytime STEM+C Adventures deliver an integrated experience for children where they use Bee-Bot robots to enact the story and build their computer science skills.
Terrapin began in 1979 to offer the Logo computer language, the very first coding app for kids, and its accompanying "turtle robot." Over the years, Terrapin has updated and enhanced Logo and expanded its robot offerings to reach every grade level.
Bee-Bot is a product of Terrapin and the star of each Storytime STEM+C Adventure. It is the foundation of Terrapin's current line of coding robots. Bee-Bot's ease-of-use allows even the youngest students to develop coding skills while teachers can use the motivation Bee-Bot inspires to enhance teaching subjects across the curriculum.