Central Oahu public schools adopt ‘active play’ tech

Leilehua Complex Schools Introduce Unruly Splats to Engage Students in STEM

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Students at Solomon Elementary School play a game with Unruly Splats.
Students use the Splats app on an iPad or Chrome browser to code the rules that tell Splats when to light up, make sounds and collect points.

Teachers at Leilehua High School, Wheeler Elementary School, and Solomon Elementary School will begin incorporating programmable floor buttons called “Unruly Splats” into their classes this spring.

The buttons, made by Unruly Studios, can be programmed by students to to light up, make sounds, and collect points to play games like whack-a-mole, four corners, or any game of their own making. The system is designed to incorporate STEM education across classrooms.

“This is the first STEM learning tool I’ve seen that combines computer science with social and emotional learning,” said Grant Toyooka, a resource manager for the Leilehua Complex. “The ease of use and playful exterior of Splats help to demystify computer science for students as well as teachers, making them easy to integrate into any classroom.”

“Unruly Splats break all the rules of traditional computer science education by getting students out from behind the computer screen and engaging with each other,” he adds.

Unruly Splats will be part of the Leilehua Complex library system’s growing resource center of hands-on technology, including computers, microscopes, and 3D printers.

“Unruly Splats are an exciting addition to our library, which serves as a center of learning and exploration for our entire community,” said Jenny Yamamoto, a Library Media Specialist at Leilehua High School. “As more classes transition back to in-person, teachers are coming to the library looking for tools just like this to engage their students both mentally and physically.”

The Leilehua Complex will receive 24 Splats through its annual Unruly Splats membership. In addition, teachers will have access to continuous technical support, coaching, and resources developed by education and curriculum experts at Unruly Studios.

Unruly Splats are designed to help schools fulfill a wide range of high priority learning objectives including:

  • Cross-curricular STEM learning: A Gallup study found that 9 in 10 parents want their kids to learn computer science in school. Unruly Splats allow teachers to incorporate STEM into any subject, including general education, PE, and even music!
  • Breaking down barriers in STEM by combining coding with play: The games kids play with Unruly Splats encourage physical movement, helping to combat a decades long drop in active-play for children exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • Collaborative games that connect students virtually and in-person: A cloud-based app allows kids and teachers to code and play games with Unruly Splats, no matter the setting: in-school, virtual, or hybrid.
  • Inclusive activities rooted in the CASEL framework for SEL: Activities focus on the core CASEL competencies of social and emotional learning including self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

“Our goal is always to make working with Unruly Splats just as much fun for the teachers as it is for the students,” said Bryanne Leeming, CEO and founder of Unruly Studios. “We are looking forward to supporting the Leilehua Complex’s ambitious vision to integrate coding into classrooms at all grade levels and to break down stereotypes around what it means to learn to code.”

About Unruly Studios

Unruly Studios is the creator of Unruly Splats, the first STEM learning tool that combines coding with active-play. Students build their own games with programmable floor buttons that they can code to light up, make sounds, and collect points when stomped on. Unruly Studios’ vision is to create an electronic playground that makes learning more playful, collaborative, and inclusive. The team is made up of experts in cognitive science, toy manufacturing, education, and technology who bring broad industry experience from Scratch, Hasbro, Mattel, Nickelodeon, iRobot, Disney, and MIT Media Lab.

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