Event Idea: littleBits Workshop about Diversity

@vanessa thank you very much :smile: I really appreciate that you took some time to think about this and gave me your feedback!

I really like what you’re pointing in Step 1, and somehow I relate the idea of multi-layered identities with Step 2 and 3. I was thinking how to present the Bits and how much detail to give to participants before choosing their module. Because it would be interesting to choose a module that best represent yourself in regards to its functionality, but I think it’s also cool to decide which Bit to be, without knowing so much about it, just simply because of its aesthetics. I believe that a rapid choice will make the process more agile to go straight to Step 4 and start playing.

I understand your worries about linear circuits, because although they are simple to give a quick idea about how the Bits snap together, they are not the best representation of reality, and in this project in particular that is about diversity. I feel that this part of your feedback is central to the development of the idea, and so now I think that maybe it’s not about how we identify with the modules, but how we identify with the idea of different types of circuits and relationships.

Wow you made me think a lot, thanks!

I will keep you updated on how things develop, and I’m looking forward to put this workshop in action and start iterating from real experience.

1 Like

Please do @leo! Looking forward to your evolving ideas.

@vanessa :smile: after thinking a lot + some tinkering, I have some fresh ideas that I want to share and discuss.

First of all, I’m really excited because in 2 weeks I’ll have the chance to run this workshop at an event for women’s month.

The cool thing is that when I met the organizers and other participants, and I had to explain my idea, I thought: what a better way to explain it than trying? So, we kind of simulated the workshop right there and I could reflect on the things we’ve been talking about.

I took the agile approach of combining Step 1, 2 and 3, so we could quickly move to the WHAT IF step. I just put some Bits on the table and told everyone that they should pick only one. After a guy next to me picked his module, I asked him why. And he told me that he chose the Arduino because he was intrigued by its complexity, and also because of its color. Another girl chose the dimmer and somehow she knew what to expect from that module because she related it to a light dimmer. Others chose their modules because of its color, and others didn’t have a reason or “identity-approach” yet.

The interest thing is that when we started playing, people started going back and forth from this identification with the module, to see how this new knowledge about “themselves” affected their “relationships” with others. For example, the guy from the Arduino was happy about his choice, and he extended his identification with the Bit by saying that he was a person that liked having many inputs and outputs, to make more than one thing at a time. Other girl, that didn’t make a conscious “identity” choice, then realized that she was the one that could turn the sound on or off, and she smiled for knowing that she was able of that. Although we where at a cafe and we couldn’t move around a lot, I tried it and it was really cool to get closer to other people, it felt even more like playing a game.

So, I thought of restructuring the workshop only into two steps. Step 1 would be IDENTIFY and Step 2 remains WHAT IF, and the idea is to go back and forth between them. In this beta test, I saw that people make conclusions in any stage of the process, and that reflection leads them to engage in the game, and they start playing in a more meaningful way when they know what’s their role in the “relationships circuit”.

Finally, other things related to the dynamics. I told the organizer to have a maximum of 15 participants in order to make more connection to each other, with the same idea of the hangouts of #InventAnything. I also want to use the Green, Yellow, Red feedback approach with square color papers, so participants can quickly write down ideas or feelings that they have during the game, and we can reflect on them afterwards.

What are your evolving ideas after my evolving ones? :smile:

1 Like

@leo I love how you are iterating on your ideas here. Let me do some thinking.

1 Like

@vanessa I’m so excited!! Share Your Event Date & Time

1 Like

@vanessa here are some photos from the first try :smile:


@leo I want to know everything about how it went!

Well, here we go :smile:

In general, the workshop was great, everyone enjoyed it, the kids were fascinated with littleBits, and the ideas that we’ve been discussing in this topic where all there, happening in real time!

First of all, the one-to-one relationship between persons and modules (what I call IDENTIFY Step) proved to be really powerful and funny. Again, some of the participants knew what to expect from the functionality of the Bit, and that’s why they chose it, but others chose their module because they liked the shape & color.

As soon as we began with the WHAT IF Step, reflections started to flow at a rate that was impossible for me to capture. So, when everyone knew the basics on how to connect the modules and create circuits, I let them explore by themselves and I started to write down things that I was hearing. Things like these:

  • Hey! I was moved
  • I’m moving here - like in the previous item, they were talking in first person when refering to their module
  • Another power is needed
  • Nico! Regulator! - they were calling someone to join the circuit. I don’t know which Bit was “the regulator” for them at that point
  • It’s over! (laughs) - the speaker was joking by disconnecting from the circuit and don’t letting “the inputs” to make their music
  • You give a lot and don’t receive anything in exchange! - someone joking one of the power bits
  • This is really cool!
  • Hey! I want to see how it goes with this
  • If we take this out? That we don’t really know what it does
  • You see! I knew it! - cool :loud_sound: :notes: after a change in the circuit
  • I’m liking this - many smiles and expectation when trying complex circuits
  • There are 3 outputs in the same place
  • It went crazy!
  • Put some delay to the motor - talking about the servo
  • Change everything until it works!
  • We made incredible music at some point
  • If we try again?
  • Hey! Bring the speaker here!
  • The best was this
  • Now it went out of control!
  • It has delay, yes I hear it
  • This is so cool!
  • Cool remix
  • You can have this, we need to share. I learned that in kindergarten
  • What do you want to invent?
  • You can’t connect that there
  • This is really interactive! Really interactive!



Hi Leo,

Your Little Bits Workshop about Diversity is groundbreaking in my opinion. I am a teacher educator and a Dual Language Educational Consultant for an urban after-school program in Chicago. I recently learned that the African-American students and Latino students remain within their own groups during after-school and summer program activities. The Diversity workshop would be a great way for students to get to know each other through their engagement through littleBits STEM activities!

I enjoyed reading about the implementation of your workshop back in March. Have you conducted additional ones since then?

I look forward to hearing more about the progress and development of the littleBits Workshop on Diversity.

I have proposed the center’s involvement with littleBits for the upcoming school year. :smiley:


Hi Jane, I’m so glad that you like the idea and I hope that you can replicate it some day and improve it :smile:

I haven’t repeated the experience since then, but your words make me go back to those days of ideation with @vanessa’s feedback. Great memories! Thanks.

The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about this, is moment when participants were looking each other to see if everyone was respecting their “position in the circuit”. I think that this part of the workshop is really powerful because participants get the chance to look one another, to see that there is a space for everyone and it’s important to respect it.

I would definitely try it again in the future and I would love if you do it too, so we could develop this workshop together :smile:

@drmontes18 your post really inspired me to focus again on this project, thanks :smile:

Last friday I repeated the experience at Qmark for 9 kids (eight of them aged 12 and one 13) with the help of Lechu (physical education teacher) and Aixa (photo credits)

We started as always. A few Bits on the table and the direction to choose one and then ask “why you chose that one?”

The selected bits where 2 powers (at the beginning only 1 available to choose, then we add another) 6 inputs, 2 wires and 4 outputs:

  1. power
  2. button
  3. dimmer
  4. pressure sensor
  5. oscillator
  6. delay
  7. micro sequencer
  8. fork
  9. branch
  10. bright led
  11. bargraph
  12. dc motor
  13. servo

And the answers went from “I dont’ know” to “I chose it because it looks like my bed, and I love my bed”. Two of the kids knew littleBits, and so an answer was “I chose this because I’m good and I will leave him the power”. After him, Lechu chose the power and he said “I chose it because I’m bad” and we all laughed.

Then we started making circuits and replicating them with human circuits. Like from previous experiences I noticed that this “replication” really slows down the great tinkering process that littleBits allows, but it’s really fun and I’m seeing it now as an Icebreaker and to get the idea that the position of the modules in the circuit matters.

One new thing that we did this time, was a second instance of “Why you chose it, and now after playing… what do you know about yourself?” (always talking as “you” as your module). This reflective activity allowed each participant to use other modules to get a deep understanting of themselves.

Some outcomes:

  • The oscillator never knew what he was able of. And everyone was surprised to discover what he could had been able of.
  • The micro sequencer admitted that she chose it because it was big and she thought that it moved. It was hard for her to fully understand her abilities.
  • The servo knew that he would be able to move and he thought that was interesting.

So well, I wanted to share this with you and/or anyone who is reading, and I will keep trying to understand what this activity is all about, and iterating and redesigning it.

Thanks again for your interest :smile:

1 Like

@leo I’m blown away by this idea and I would love to help bring this to the broader littleBits community. One of the most exciting parts about my job here at littleBits is to start working with AWSM folks like you to design learning experiences using bits. And while it’s generally easier to see how they can be used in a STEM and STEAM-Y context, I’m super interested in how we can use them as tools to surface and practice socio-emotional learning goals and skills. Do you have an updated workshop guide I could take a peek at? I’d love to playtest it with other groups!

1 Like

YES :smile: please

This month I entered in documentation mode expecting to have clean copies of all the projects I’ve been working on during 2015 by the end of the year.

This workshop idea is one of my favorites, and I would love to work with you to make it a really playful experience.

I’ve always seen the chance that each of the steps of this game, could be an activity itself. For example, once I tested the workshop at Cre-Arte and we quickly jumped into making human circuits without reflecting about identities, and it was really fun!

In my last experience at Qmark, one thing that I forgot to tell you was that after everyone had its own Bit, Lechu suggested checking “who is compatible with whom?” just to discover that we are all compatible to each other, but only in the right position :smile:

I’ll work on that updated workshop guide and share it with you asap!

Thanks for being there :smile::smile::smile:

@leo I can’t wait to see it! :raised_hands: :arrow_up: :raised_hands: :arrow_down: :arrows_counterclockwise:

Hey @lizabits please check this guide http://littlebits.cc/lessons/social-dynamics
Sorry it took me like a year to put this together but I´m still exploring and trying new things and audiences :smiley:

@leo this is WONDERFUL! Well worth the wait :slight_smile: I’d love to share it with a bunch of ppl but was thinking it might give it more context if you had a video or shared an example in action at the end. <3

yes I totally agree, I had the camera in my hand at that moment and it was so magnificent that I couldn’t press the button to record it. I don’t know if this ever happened to you.

Rethinking about methodology, I guess that this last step is optional, and it gets relevant when it’s the conclusion of the activity. Not the case when this is seen as an icebreaker before a design challenge.

One cool thing that I discover in this last try, different from previous ones, it’s that in all the steps (after given short directions), participants automanaged themselves. I find this really interesting because you can see all the interactions from outside and remix on the go.

You’re right @lizabits! no video feels undone :running: :checkered_flag:
Here’s what I published, and if I get a new chance to document it I’ll republish!

This lesson aims to develop socio emotional skills using littleBits.


  • Minimum number of Bits

  • Great adaptability to your own goals

It can be used as an icebreaker before a workshop to foster collaborative teamwork, or it can serve as a tool to move into a deeper reflection on how we share and interact with others.

The main idea is to imagine that each Bit is a person, and that the set of all Bits is a micro society. In this way, the role that each Bit plays in a circuit, is equivalent to how people play different roles in a team.

Duration: 20 min


STEP 1 : Before the activity

Clearly define your goals. In this case, the activity was planned to make a retrospective about how was our day at Agile Open Camp. In particular, identify which role each one played and realize that to achieve common success, we must interact with people playing different roles.

STEP 2 : Make your choice (5 minutes)

After presenting the 4 roles, each person had to choose between Power, Action, Transformer or Connector and pick one Bit to play that role.

STEP 3 : Link and Share (5 minutes)

Each role group shared between them why they chose that role, linking their decision with a specific time of the day when they felt that way.

STEP 4 : Connect with others (5 minutes)

Participants had to move around in search of others to connect and make a circuit.

STEP 5 : Know your circuit (5 minutes)

Each circuit shared what role did each Bit play in the circuit and reflected why is important to have different roles in a team.

STEP 6 : Play your Bit role (optional)

Finally, each circuit had to show how it worked to other circuits. Everyone acted as their Bits in the circuit, respecting their position, connecting with others, and making movements or sounds or whatever they think best represented their role in the circuit.

After this event You're in the News, Bitster! 📰 📺 🌟, I was asked to host a series of workshops to give participants a deeper sense of how it feels to invent with littleBits. Since the idea was to give an introduction to littleBits and the number of participants was big enough, I decided to keep testing the approach developed in these posts.

I hosted 3 workshops for 15 kids each. The duration was 2:30 hours (too long). For me it works better 1:30 hours maximum.

The physical space was ok. I used 3 tables to put Input, Wire, and Output Bits. And on the other line of 3 tables I put Energy.

The first step was like always to choose your Bit. I explained the different colors and gave time to free test before choosing. Once they made their choice I asked them to write their name, age, and Bit on a Post-it (pink, orange or green, depending on their choice).

My idea was that then they could combine themselves depending on the characteristics that they were discovering about their Bits. But, since they had all the other unselected Bits there, this didn’t happen and the methodology didn’t work as I expected.

So for the last workshop I remixed things and selected only 16 bits. Including 1 power and 1 USB power (although I left some USB powers ready so the ones that already made their choice could start exploring their Bits).

This approach worked really well. They interacted a lot between each other and together discussed and decided what to invent depending on what each could do. Eventually, if they needed more Bits for a specific project they had in mind, I would give them exactly what they needed, but normally it was not the case.

One other alternative that I didn’t try was to put all the Bits available, and after they choose, take the rest apart, and bring specific Bit dependind their needs.

If I get more pics, I will share them with you here :slight_smile:

Thanks Fundación INVAP for making this event possible

1 Like