The Navigator

Build a handheld device that allows you to navigate in the dark

Session ROLES:

🐙 = Site Coordinator

🦉= Mentor

littlebits_base_inventor_kit_5_-_tejar.jpg
 

A Note for Site Coordinators and Mentors

This session guide provides a detailed outline for the Navigator activity, but feel free to improvise or put your own spin to things. If you have an idea for a challenge or prompt that will get girls excited, go for it! If something is not working well, change course and experiment another path forward. 

If you do change things up, we would love to hear what has been successful for you!  

Get Social!

📷 We love to see invention in action! Take photos/videos of your session and tag us on social with the hashtag #snapthegap. *Please make sure you have sharing authorization from parents and your affiliated organization before posting.

 

Session Overview

Girls will use the littleBits Invention Cycle, and an understanding of the basics of circuitry and environmental sensors, to construct a handheld device that allows you to navigate in the dark. Girls will then modify their navigators to make them function for different users and environments. Conclude the activity by having girls create 30-second commercials to pitch their product.

 

Session Details

Difficulty:

Beginner

Duration:

2 hours

Subjects:

Engineering

Design

Science

Empathy

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Intro to littleBits

Invention Cycle

 

Supplies

Bits + Accessories:

Snap the Gap STEM Kit

Device:

Mentors will need to bring a connected device (phone, tablet, or computer) to access instructional videos

Other Materials:

Extra 9V batteries

Tape

Nice to Have:

Colored Paper

Markers

Scissors

 

Description

Theme: Sensors

Objectives: By the end of the session, girls will be able to:

  • Create and test a circuit containing a power source, inputs and output

  • Construct a prototype of a handheld navigation device using littleBits and other materials 

  • Test their prototypes and make improvements 

  • Self-assess their work based on the outlined success criteria and constraints 

  • Demonstrate their ability to Create, Play, Remix and Share an invention through the littleBits Invention Cycle

  • Summarize their process and Share the resulting invention by creating commercials to pitch their product



Set Up

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

  • Make sure all the supplies for this session are prepped and ready to go.

  • We suggest handing out the kits during the CREATE phase, after the introduction.

🦉MENTORS: 

  • Make sure to bring a charged connected device (phone, iPad, or computer) to access instructional videos during the session.

 

Meet Up

5 min

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

Take attendance and make sure mentors and girls are paired off.

🦉MENTORS: 

Check in with your mentee to make sure she signed up with DIY.org (previously JAM.com)

Take turns asking each other questions. Example prompts:

  • DIY: Discuss what your mentee explored on DIY.org since last session. What topics did they find interesting and why? Did they participate in any challenges. If possible, take a look together on DIY.org.

  • What's one thing you created or invented this week?

 

Introduce

10 min

🐙SITE COORDINATORS INTRODUCE THE SESSION

Begin the activity by leading a short review of littleBits basics (e.g. magnetism, order matters, color-coding).

Today, we will learn about sensors and construct a handheld device that allows you to navigate in the dark. Then, you will modify your navigators to make them function for different users and environments. We will conclude the activity by creating 30-second commercials to pitch your new product.

Discuss with the group prior to starting:

  • What types of alarm devices are there? Ex: lights, sound

  • How are they triggered?

  • What is their purpose?

 

Inspire

5 min

🦉MENTORS Review session inspiration video and prompts with girls 

Kid Inventor Anahit invented echolocation device for detecting obstacles in low/no visibility conditions and for blind people.

 
 
 

Create

35 min

🦉MENTORS: 

Facilitate the CREATE, PLAY, & REMIX activities with mentees.

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

During the CREATE, PLAY, & REMIX activities, float around the room and observe/help out where needed. You will also monitor the time and announce when the group should come together to share.


The Navigator

Build a handheld device that allows you to navigate in the dark.

 
littlebits_base_inventor_kit_5_-_tejar.jpg
 

CREATE: Watch the video playlist for build instructions:

  1. Intro to Wearables

  2. Create Navigator

 

Play

10 min

PLAY: Try out your invention! 

 
  • Once the prototypes have been constructed, girls should test their navigators to make sure they work and to explore the circuit functionality. 

  • Girls should try using their navigators with different sized objects, objects made out of different materials, different lighting situations, etc.. Does the circuit behave differently when you change these variables?. What is the ideal distance for sensing objects in front of you?

  • In small groups, ask girls to discuss/explain how the circuit works. A clear understanding of how it works will help them explore and experiment during the Remix phase. 

 
 

Remix

25 Min

Now it’s time for girls to put their Engineering Design skills to work and customize their Navigator. How can you use Bits and craft materials to improve or customize your invention? If there is time, try out more than one remix idea! Here are some ideas:

 
  • Try using your Navigator in different places/scenarios. 

    • Can you use for something else besides navigating? Can it be a prank? An intruder alert?

nav 3.png
 
  • Experiment with Bits

    • Try swapping the Sound Trigger Bit in place of the Proximity Sensor. Bit How does this change the function of your navigator. Hint: try shaking your arm :)

    • Try adding other Bits. What happens if you add a Long LED. How could this improve your wearable device?

    • How could the navigator be adjusted for someone with a hearing disability?

  • Add Materials

    • Customize your Navigator. How would someone know it is yours? Use stickers or add other craft materials.

    • Wrap a paper cup or cone around the speaker to make it louder.

Ask girls to explain their remix choices and the resulting change in functionality and outcomes.


Share

15 Min

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

  • Gather girls together to share their remixed inventions

  • Have girls share their unique devices by creating 30-second commercials (to “sell” their product). Be sure the device has a name, a price, an intended user and a story around how it can be used.

  • Snap photos of the final invention!

Give girls a preview of the next session:

  • Next week, we will learn about smart objects and build trash-chomping monsters.


Reflect

5 Min

🦉MENTORS: 

Reflect with your mentee: “What is one new thing that you learned during this challenge?”

 

Close

10 Min

Wrap Up

🦉MENTORS: 

  • Make sure girls power off the Power Bit and disconnect the battery.

  • Deconstruct inventions: Make sure to take pictures of what girls have made. Girls may take home the paper portion of their invention if they like.

  • Clean up: Make sure girls have all the parts shown on the side of the box and put them away in the kit.

🐙SITE COORDINATORS:

  • Announce Super Important Homework: Before next session, girls should go on DIY.org (previously JAM.com), select a topic that sounds interesting, participate in 1 challenge, and upload to the community. You will discuss it next time!

  • Store kits away for next time 

 

Log Your Session

Tell Us How It Went

Your feedback is essential to help us improve the program!

🐙SITE COORDINATORS

🦉MENTORS 

After the session, please fill out the Session Feedback Form

Get Social! 

📷 We love to see invention in action! Take photos/videos of your session and tag us on social with the hashtag #snapthegap. *Please make sure you have sharing authorization from parents and your affiliated organization before posting.