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The Story of Strawbees



Started only with an idea of a clothespin, Strawbees was first inspired by recycling materials like cardboard, plastic bottles, food packaging, and drinking straws by Erik Thorstensson, the inventor and Co-founder of Strawbees, during his trip to India. He started by making thousands of neon clothespins, and the kids in India had fun building massive structures with them.


With that, the clothespin is then revolutionised into a pin connector made from commonly available scrap material, preferably in their manual die-cutting machines from Acucut.




The idea of combining straws with the connector came at one time, which led to exciting pictures. Since then, they started experimenting with straws, creating polygon structures modified a couple of times, and have made four different tools and thousands of prototypes.


Then came the name Strawbees, picked by a nine-year-old kid at Maker Faire New York[1]. In 2014, they ran a Kickstarter for their supporter to finally get their hands on the kit by donating while also getting the starter kit they chose[2]


Now Strawbees has its official website and officially launched product kits, mainly STEAM Starter Kit and STEAM School Kit. They also have a microcontroller toy, Quirkbot, for kids to program in Coding & Robotic School Kit. They also have partnered up with BBC Micro: Bit to create a new technology product named Robotic Inventions for Micro: Bit. This kit will snap the micro: bit with physical Strawbees buildings and program mechanical structures with servo motors. A way to create physical interaction with your next project!


These kits contain a lot of exciting items to play with it. In the next section, we will introduce little detail about the equipment to know what is inside. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's get started!


 

Strawbees STEAM Starter Kit



Coming with the basics of all, Steam Starter Kit highly suitable amount for a starter who begins straw being. At the beginning of creative creation, the kit was designed with different lengths of straws and several legged connectors for the learners to have fun by playing and building a lot of innovation. So let's have a look inside!


Strawbees Steam Starter Kit has a personal-sized building set of 230 pieces, including the building set with five different precut straw sizes and four colour-coded connectors organized in the box. In addition, it comes with a colourful and inspirational poster and an activity booklet for beginners to start. Use a STEAM Starter Kit for a single or a pair of students at a time. We recommend pairing students together when creating any project made from a lesson or activity resource. The free lesson plan and activities can be accessed at Strawbees learning.


Play and create the creatures and objects you imagine! You can buy the Steam Starter Kit available at the Everbest Media store or click the link below.


 

Strawbees STEAM School Kit



A group version of Steam Starter Kit, the STEAM School Kit is a massive construction kit providing over 4000 pieces enough for an entire classroom of students. It is a classroom toolbox for developing creative thinking skills and resources to build any imaginable Strawbees project.


Using a classroom-sized STEAM School Kit, there are enough materials to start building from 20 students and go up to 30 in total. Encourage collaboration with creation! We recommend pairing students together when creating any project made from a lesson or activity resource in the Classroom. You can buy the Steam School Kit available at the Everbest Media store.



 

Strawbees Robotic Invention for micro:bit - Single Pack



Launched in early 2020, Strawbees‪ has Robotic Inventions for Micro: bit’ kit. This kit will snap the micro:bit with physical Strawbees buildings and program mechanical structures with servo motors. A way to create physical interaction with your next project!


Recommended for Ages 10-14 and above, the Robotic Invention kit can allow you to build and code robots that move! This kit adds robotic capabilities to Strawbees building projects and the micro:bit. This kit is for a single or a pair of students at a time.


As an add-on kit, this kit does not include the micro:bit, USB cable, or batteries and requires the purchase of another Strawbees product for building with building straws and connectors. Students will write in Microsoft MakeCode’s block-based programming platform, upload a program and remove it from the computer to run on batteries.


Strawbees designed their official MakeCode extension to simplify the micro:bit with Strawbees.

To install it, search for “Strawbees” in the extensions section of the code editor.




 

Strawbees Robotic Invention for micro:bit - 10 pack



A larger, classroom version of Robotic Invention Kit for micro:bit (10 pack) is perfect for classroom integration with a combination of STEAM School Kit which is enough materials to start building for a classroom of 10 students and up to 20 students in total. Students can create new projects through shared ideas and understanding while trying to achieve a common goal together.


Collaboration of micro:bit and Strawbees is a great combination when you can build anything with it. This does help you to express more creativity with Strawbees to create a more technical and complex design for your project!




 

Strawbees Coding & Robotics Kit (Quirkbot)



Transform your Strawbees projects into interactive robots! Using electronic building pieces, you can learn creative coding, and build and program them to life with Quirkbot.


Recommended for ages 10 and above, you can learn creative coding and building with the Quirkbot! Connect to the computer, code, and upload a program to tell it to move, blink or both! Make a walker, a blinking star, or a pig shake in fear when it senses darkness. The Quirkbot has a rechargeable battery and can be removed from the computer to let your project come alive in the real world.


You can learn how to program in three different ways: flow, block, and C++ text designed for all levels of experience. The Strawbees CODE app works offline on Windows & macOS and directly from the browser on Chromebooks.


LEARNING TO CODE

We also provide the tools for engaging coding experience. Our coding platform Strawbees CODE features three ways of programming:

  • Flow programming

  • Block programming (powered by MIT Scratch)

  • Arduino Text programming

We are the only company providing 3 different approaches for coding, allowing endless progression possibilities.



 

Strawbees Coding & Robotics Kit (Quirkbot) - 12 pack



A larger, classroom version of Strawbees Coding & Robotics is also available, perfect for classroom integration with a combination of STEAM School Kit which is enough materials to start building for a classroom of 10 students and up to 20 students in total. Students can create new projects through shared ideas and understanding while trying to achieve a common goal together.



 

And these are some of the product line-ups that Strawbees (and more to come!) Now, educators can access over a dozen Strawbees STEAM kits in our store and use them with Strawbees Code or other custom lessons within Strawbees Classroom (subscription sold separately). Chances are, if students have Strawbees ideas or aspirations for designing original Strawbees projects, they'll be able to make it happen using the materials in one (or more) of these kits. Despite the large line of Strawbees solutions, they're still very affordable for integrating into a tech or maker space curriculum.

If you're already incorporating Strawbees challenges in the classroom or looking for insight on whether it's right for your students, we hope this helps! You can find the top kits for education in our store (and below). If you have any questions or would like to make a purchase, please let us know!

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