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New STEM Anywhere product reviews

More than 40 Review Crew members share insights about STEM and coding kits

Published December 21, 2020
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Pitsco has broadly expanded its lineup of products that appeal to both in-school and at-home educators. However, we know educators are eager to know whether a particular product will work with their classroom or setup before they purchase it.

We like to have experts – i.e. teachers, parents, and students – review our products to give their peers an idea of how each product might work in various learning situations. Teachers know what works best for teachers, so it only makes sense to have top-notch educators give their honest opinions about Pitsco products.

Recently, we asked members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew to take a look at some STEM and coding solutions. The result was more than 40 individual reviews spanning seven different Pitsco products. All the full reviews can be accessed at the Review Crew site, but we’ve provided snippets from a few of the individual reviews here for a sneak peek.

PITSCO STEM BOXES AND KITS

Pitsco STEM Boxes offer strong, engaging, hands-on education that can be implemented in any type of learning environment. Each kit contains the materials and at-home curriculum with step-by-step instructions to support several different projects and activities.

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew took a look at all our new STEM Boxes: the STEM Explorer Pack for Grades K-5, the STEM Creator Pack for Grades 6-8, the STEM Innovator Pack for Grades 9-12, and the Family Design Challenges Kit that gets the whole family involved.

The STEM Explorer Pack projects include a tilting maze, a bird feeder, musical instruments, parachutes, and large structures.

The STEM Creator Pack projects include catapults, balloon cars, truss bridges, inventions, and friction climbers.

  • “Each kit comes with age-appropriate instructions that are printed in full color and with lots of pictures. This was one of my favorite aspects because it was so well-done that our special needs middle schooler was able to complete nearly all of the work without any help at all!”
    – “Host a STEM Camp @ Home with the Creator Lab!,” Homeschool on the Range
  • “Some of their favorite times were testing their theories and trying new ways to use their projects. They learned the best placement of the straw to get their balloon-powered car to go the fastest, that the friction climber is a fun way to get a LEGO® minifigure to higher heights, how to accurately shoot the catapult so someone can catch the projectile, what happens when you change the angle of a ramp, and various other real-world things.”
    – “Pitsco STEM Pack,” Raising Leafs
  • Middle School STEM Creator Pack – Grades 6-8 from Pitsco Education,” Home Is Where the Heart Is

Projects in the STEM Innovator Pack include catapults, trebuchets, kites, and solar cars.

  • “I was really impressed with how much came in the pack. Each of the kits come in a sealed bag with most of the tools you need to put the items together. In this [solar car] bag came all the items to make the car and even modify it further. . . . After building our car, we took it outside to test. . . . As soon as we put it to the cement, voila! Off it went.”
    Kemi Quinn
  • “The STEM Innovator Guides were filled with a multitude of additional learning material, such as history regarding the area of study, and activities to deepen our study of each topic. The lessons were well thought out and thorough. I think they did a wonderful job creating a superior product.”
    A Homeschool Mom
  • High School STEM Innovator Pack from Pitsco Education,” Cummins Life

The Family Design Challenges Kit, created in cooperation with the TGR Foundation, A Tiger Woods Charity, was designed specifically for families to teach STEM concepts and increase engagement at home. Created for Grades 3-8, this kit includes materials and instructions for three weeks’ worth of activities. Proceeds from the kits will go directly back to TGR Foundation’s educational programs.

  • “Our family had a fantastic time using critical thinking skills to think outside the box with each challenge presented. . . . Each kit is a great way to engage all types of learning styles. And with such a broad range of age levels, working together is an absolute must to obtain a solution.”
    – “Family Design Challenges Kit,” Simply Passionate
  • “I recommend this resource as a STEM activity for families this summer or the upcoming school year. Small co-op classes could use it easily. This kit would be great for an educational hands-on after school class or project for any student in the 3rd-8th grade range.”
    Jenn’s RAQ – Real and Quirky
  • Family Design Challenges Kit from Pitsco Education,” Mom of Many . . .

CODING SOLUTIONS

The final three items reviewed are fun, innovative ways to teach coding. The Code Cube™ wearable device and the Smart Buddies™ coding tool on wheels will have elementary students (Grades 3-5) eager to get started coding. For middle school and high school students, the Arduino Education Student Kit for Grades 6-12 lets students learn at their own pace while exploring current, voltage, digital logic, and programming concepts.

Code Cube is a wearable tech learning tool that enables students to learn to program their very own wearable tech that is unique to them.

Smart Buddies is a unique coding tool accompanied by curriculum that focuses on increasing diversity awareness for third- to fifth-grade students. With a secondary focus on storytelling, the coding solution leverages the Smart Buddies app, where students are first introduced to their buddies – different role models who have interests in science, engineering, and the arts.

  • “Little Miss was in love. She loved the fact that she could control this whole thing from her Kindle. She had so much fun learning about coding. . . . I loved that she could learn while playing since she doesn’t like sitting down with textbooks that much.”
    – “Coding with Pitsco Education,” Hopkins Homeschool
  • “My oldest three girls, ages 9, 9, and 8, used Pitsco Education Smart Buddies at Home on a regular basis. . . . They brought Jodi everywhere! They showed all their friends how to code and made coding a really hip thing in their circle. We have some very close friends that code for a living and they loved this coding doll. It offers the very basic introduction to the concepts of coding and they explained these things to my kids.”
    – “Smart Buddies Coding Dolls Review,” Deputie Tribe

“One student was carrying his structures project home when he met his mom. He explained what he did and what we would be doing all week. Then, he said, ‘Mom, this was so fun. I can’t wait to come back to school tomorrow.’ In all my 15 years of teaching summer school, I’ve never heard that.”

– Mario Dicarlo, Taylor Elementary, Santa Maria, California

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