All Posts by ShaiCoggins


About the Author

Shai Coggins is a Registered Teacher in South Australia, with a Masters' degree in Teaching and Applied Psychology. She is a practicing artist and a published author. She started Creative STEAM Studio to promote holistic and play-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) with a strong literacy focus for kids and families in Adelaide and around the world.

littleBits Introduction - Printable Cards Set
Dec 04

littleBits Electronic Blocks for STEAM Education

By ShaiCoggins | Printables , Reviews and Recommendations

LittleBits (or littleBits, as the company refers to itself) is a modular electronic blocks system that may be purchased either as complete kits or as individual modules (or bits). They may be used to put together suggested creations or original inventions.

They have an available app to help you to create using the different kits (Android and iOS only).

The Tech-y Bits

The modules/bits are colour coded as follows:

  • Blue = Power bits
  • Pink = Input bits
  • Orange = Wire / Connector bits
  • Green = Output bits

The blue Power bits is usually attached to a 9v alkaline battery and a plug. Power bits provide the electricity required for the inventions to work. The pink input bits trigger the action or activity of the green output bits. Pink input bits include: switches, sound triggers, microphones, keyboards, and more. Green output bits include: LED lights, speakers, buzzers, and more. The orange bits enables a connection between the input and output bits extending the inventions using wires or connectors like Makey Makey, Cloudbit, and Bluetooth modules.

When introducing littleBits to students, I find that it’s useful to teach the importance of understanding the concepts behind each of these bits/modules to strengthen the students’ learning. You can download a set of cards for your use in your classroom or makerspace from our TpT Store (it’s free!).

littleBits Introduction

Download this for FREE as a printable card set from our Teachers Pay Teachers store. Download Now

Thoughts on littleBits

When I first came across littleBits, I wanted to see if it would work well in a primary STEAM Classroom. So, I ordered my first kit, which was the Cloudbit Starter Kit. And, while I thought it was great, it didn’t seem like the best kit to start with, especially for primary school students.

So, I ended up purchasing the littleBits Basic Kit (this kits seems to have been phased out).  This was a much better fit for what I had in mind for students.

My collection of littleBits kits have grown a lot since then. As of writing this, I have bought and used the following kits with my students: STEAM kit (1 set), Gadgets and Gizmos 2nd edition (1 set), Rule Your Room (2 sets), Droid Inventors kit (1 set), Synth Korg kit (1 set). I hope to share full reviews of these littleBits kits some time.  In the mean time, here are some thoughts and recommendations on littleBits.

littleBits at STEAM Club


  • They are easy to understand and use! Young kids can create and invent using littleBits. It’s a great way to teach electronics and robotics to primary students without having to do soldering, etc. Years 3 and up (ages 9+) will probably be able to use them independently after some basic/introductory lessons. Younger children can use them with close supervision from teachers/parents.
  • There are a lot of creation and invention possibilities with some of the basic modules. While you can create inventions based on suggested activities and lessons from the app and website, you can also come up with your own inventions. In fact, it’s highly encouraged once the students get the hang of the modules.
  • The kids love them! I have yet to meet a student who doesn’t love working with littleBits. The biggest problem is never having enough bits/modules for everyone to use!


  • They are pricey! Yes – this is probably going to be the biggest barrier for a lot of people. Each kit can set you back from US$99 upwards.  And, in Australia, you’d be lucky to find a kit that’s within AU$150 each. Usually, there are only a handful of bits in each kit. So, if you’re purchasing for a class or group, you might need a couple of thousand dollars to have enough kits for your students. And yes, purchasing modules individually sometimes can even be more costly!
  • The modules need to be handled with care. They’re not unreasonably fragile, but it’s worth making sure the students look after the bits properly (e.g., don’t drop them, don’t insert things in them that are not meant to be inserted, don’t put them in water, etc).
  • Students need ample education, encouragement, and exposure to working with the modules, so that they can be more inventive with them. They tend to want to follow instructions to start with, so they only just do what they’re told to do. That’s why educators need to teach them higher thinking skills and creativity to help them create inventions that are of their own design.

In summary: littleBits are great tools to have in any STEAM classroom or makerspace. They come highly recommended. Some favourite kits include Gadgets & Gizmos, Rule Your Room, and Droid Inventor.

Here’s an introductory video on littleBits that you might find useful and inspiring:

Makerspace or STEAM Classroom Tools and Materials
Oct 30

80+ Must-Have Budget-Friendly Materials For Makerspaces or STEAM Classrooms

By ShaiCoggins | Reviews and Recommendations

No two makerspaces, STEAM laboratories, or tinker stations in classrooms are alike. And, that’s how it should be. After all, no two students or teachers are alike. That’s why each space should be planned, developed, and stocked with resources according to the needs of its participants.

If you know that your students are more of the visual art type, then you might need to fill your space up with art and craft materials. If they prefer building, then start collecting recycled materials and construction toys. See what they’re interested in and consider your own curriculum.

However you’re planning your space, here’s a list of things that you might consider adding into your resource carts or cabinets. They’re organised by types of materials, not in order of importance. So, you’re welcome to pick and choose depending on your needs. This list is simply a guideline or starting point for your makerspace or STEAM classroom planning.

Makerspace or STEAM Classroom Tools and MaterialsWhat are your favourite makerspace tools?

Art Materials
1. Paper (white, black, Kraft, coloured, graph)
2. Pencils (Lead and Coloured)
3. Felt Tip and Ballpoint Pens
4. Crayons
5. Black and Coloured Markers
6. Paint (watercolour pans, liquid watercolours, acrylics, finger paint)
7. Brushes
8. Cardstock
9. Oil and Chalk Pastels
10. Ink pads
11. Inks/Ink dyes

Craft Materials
1. Popsticks or Craft Sticks
2. Pipe cleaners
3. Pompoms
4. Googly eyes
5. Masking tape
6. PVA Glue
7. Washi tape
8. Yarn
9. Felt
10. Fabric
11. Beads (wooden/plastic)
12. Coloured tissue
13. Feathers
14. Hot glue gun (use with caution)
15. Scissors
16. Craft knife
17. Buttons
18. Glitter
19. Plastic needles
20. Matchsticks

Household Materials
1. Aluminium foil
2. Baking soda
3. Shaving foam
4. Drinking straws
5. Paper/plastic plates
6. Disposable cups
7. Plastic spoons and forks
8. Kitchen towels
9. Toothbrushes
10. Salt
11. Wooden clothes pegs
12. Baking paper
13. Cooking oil
14. Cleaning brushes
15. Ice trays
16. Dishwashing liquid
17. Aluminium or plastic trays
18. Uncooked rice, pasta &/or beans
19. Vinegar
20. Food dye
21. Flour
22. Cornstarch

Recyclable Materials
1. Newspapers
2. Magazines
3. Old, broken toys and knick-knacks
4. Bottles
5. Jars
6. Cardboard
7. Bottle caps
8. Egg cartons
9. Paper tubes
10. Tin cans
11. Plastic containers
12. Rubber band (from vegetable packaging, etc)
13. Wood pieces
14. Cork
15. Boxes

Other materials
1. Velcro
2. Wires
3. Balsa wood
4. Batteries
5. Alligator clips
6. Motors (DC and vibrating)
7. Paper clips
8. Bulldog clips
9. Play dough
10. Blu tack
11. Droppers
12. LED lights
13. Gloves (plastic or rubber)
14. Marbles
15. Ping pong balls
16. Magnets
17. Copper tape
18. Twigs, branches, acorns, etc

Strawbees Crazy Scientist Kit - STEAM Educational Tools Review
Sep 28

Strawbees: STEAM Educational Tools Review

By ShaiCoggins | Reviews and Recommendations

Strawbees is a prototyping tool and toy for makers of all ages. It was first introduced in 2014 via the company’s successful Kickstarter campaign.

The concept is simple: Using Strawbees connectors, you can put together plastic straws (very much like your regular drinking straws) or cardboard pieces to create different things – from basic 3D shapes to complex mechanical objects.

I didn’t know about Strawbees until a couple of months ago. But, the moment I found out what this tool can do, I knew I just had to try it. So, I purchased one of the kits (Crazy Scientist Kit) and used it in the STEAM* Club that I run for a local school here in Adelaide. And, I’m here to review the kit that I used.

Strawbees Crazy Scientist Kit - STEAM Educational Tools Review

Strawbees Crazy Scientist Kit
(Please note that this is an independent review, not a sponsored one.)


The Verdict


  • Strawbees are so much fun to use! The kids absolutely loved working with the straws and connectors.
  • Strawbees are great for teaching structures, design, geometry, and more. And, several creations may be related to real life use.
  • Strawbees kits come with a basic instructions booklet to get you started. You can also find more projects using their free app (available via iOS and Android), their Maker Activities page, and their Learning Portal.
  • Strawbees can be extended with different STEAM tools like Quirkbots, littleBits, Hummingbird robotics, etc. You might even consider connecting them with regular motors and battery packs.
  • Strawbees classroom kits are relatively inexpensive compared with many STEAM tools. And, you don’t have to purchase the branded straws. There are regular drinking straws that you can use with Strawbees connectors.
Sample student work - STEAM Club Adelaide Australia school

Sample work by STEAM Club Students in Adelaide, Australia.


  • Introducing Strawbees to students is simple. But, it might take a little bit of time for students to grasp the full extent of the tool’s capabilities (not necessarily a bad thing!).
  • Some of the tutorials available may be a little confusing to some students, so there might be a need for more hands-on guidance at the start.
  • The connectors can be a little tricky to use at times, especially when not using standard straws. It’s especially tricky when attaching connectors to other connectors. You might need to fold or snip (not easy for younger students).
  • Some of the available projects in Strawbees booklets and online tutorials might not work as well as you hope at the start (e.g, the catapult). So, you might need to make some adjustments.
  • While relatively inexpensive as a STEAM tool/kit, it can get expensive when using for several students if Strawbees are not re-used/recycled. That’s why it might be worth considering getting their Infinite Kit (or their Upcycle Station for two full sets, including Quirkbots) if you’re planning to use Strawbees on a regular basis.

In summary:

Strawbees are definitely worth the investment! It’s a wonderful addition to any STEAM or maker classroom or lab.

Strawbees kits come in 3 basic packages:

  • Maker Kit – This is their introductory kit that comes with 200 pieces (straws + connectors), with an instruction booklet containing 16 projects. It costs around US$20 (AU$25-30).
  • Inventor Kit – This is the intermediate level kit that comes with 400 pieces (straws + connectors), with an instruction booklet containing 20 projects. It costs around US$40 (AU$40-50).
  • Crazy Scientist Kit – This is the advanced level kit that comes with 1000 pieces (straws + connectors), with an instruction booklet containing 21 projects. It costs around US$80 (AU$80-100).

There is also a School Kit, which comes with 2560 Strawbees connectors, 1500 straws, and a Card Deck of Creativity (with US$20). It costs US$295 (AU$400).

You can learn more about Strawbees from their website. You can also watch this Strawbees intro video below (It’s in Taiwanese, but the video doesn’t need text. The visual shows you Strawbees’ possibilities.) –

*In case you haven’t heard of STEAM yet, it stands for Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics.

Spin Art Painting Colour Theory Lesson Idea
Jun 07

Spin Art Colour Theory – STEAM Lesson Idea

By ShaiCoggins | Lesson Ideas

Have you tried doing spin art painting yet? In this STEAM lesson, we incorporate colour wheels and colour theory. And, we also include fidget spinners and glitter for extra fun and sparkle!

Materials Needed:
• Paper Plates
• Fidget Spinners (or paper arrows or dice)
• Spin Art Machine (or Turntable, Lazy Susan, or Salad Spinner)
• Cardstock or watercolour paper (cut in the right size, either square, rectangle, or circle).
• High flow acrylic paints or inks
• Glitter (optional)

Step 1: Create paper plate colour wheels.

Depending on the year level of your students and the time that you have available for this lesson, you can create three different colour wheels:

  • Primary Colour Wheel – Just divide the paper plate into three and colour each section with red, yellow, and blue.
  • Primary + Secondary Colour Wheel – Divide the paper plate into six and colour each corresponding section with red, yellow, blue, orange, green, and violet.
  • Primary + Secondary + Tertiary Colour Wheel – This is best for older or more advanced students. You need to divide the paper plate into 12 and colour each corresponding section section with red, yellow, blue, orange, green, violet, red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green, blue violet, and red violet.

You can either get the students to paint these paper plate colour wheels or you can paint and prepare them beforehand. You also have the option of adding colour using pre-mixed paints, pencils, inks, or markers or doing a colour mixing exercise.

If you’re getting the students to create these colour wheels in class, you can also talk about fractions and/or measurement of circles.

If you wish to focus on the spin art activity and colour theory part of this lesson, just prepare these colour wheels beforehand.

Colour Wheel Fidget Spinner

Step 2: Add a fidget spinner with an arrow.

You can add a triangle shape on one of the tips of the fidget spinner using either a piece of paper or felt (just stick the shape on the fidget spinner with tape), or you can use a removable sticker, masking tape, or washi tape. I opted to use a piece of washi tape.

If you don’t have a fidget spinner or you don’t wish to use one, you can assign a number to each colour instead and use dice to choose your colours.

Alternatively, you can cut an arrow shape out of cardstock, punch a hole in the middle of the paper plate and the edge of the arrow, and attach the paper arrow on to the paper plate using a brad attachment.

Step 3: Create a paper plate colour schemer.

Depending on the number of colour schemes you wish to discuss or teach in class, you can divide the paper plate accordingly. There are a number of colour schemes according to colour theory. Here are six of them:

  1. Complementary
  2. Analogous (or Harmonious)
  3. Triadic
  4. Split Complementary
  5. Rectangle (or Tetradic)
  6. Square

For beginners, I tend to focus on teaching three of these colour schemes: complementary, analogous, and split complementary.

Add another fidget spinner with an arrow in the middle of this paper plate colour schemer.

You can prepare this ahead of class.
Paper Plate Colour Schemer - Colour Theory

Step 4: Introduce the Spin Art activity.

Tell the students what the spin art activity is all about. Give the following instructions:

  • First, spin the fidget spinner or arrow on the colour wheel to choose a base colour.
  • Then, spin the fidget spinner or arrow on the colour schemer to choose a colour scheme.
  • Once you have the right colours, choose the corresponding paint colours.
  • Put a few drops in the middle of the paper or cardstock. Make sure your paper is positioned in the middle of your spin art machine and the paint is watery enough. If the paint is not watery enough, just add a couple of drops of water.
  • Spin the machine a few times to get your desired design. If you’re using a turntable or lazy susan, your machine might not go as fast as you’d like. Just try to spin as fast as you can.
  • While the paint is still wet, sprinkle a bit of glitter that matches your colour scheme.
  • Repeat!

Spin Art Painting for Kids

Step 5: Talk about the Spin Art activity.

After the students has had a few turns creating a few spin art pieces, talk about the process. Ask questions like:

  • What do you notice about the paint? Is it moving or staying still?
  • What does the paint do when you spin the machine?
  • Which direction is the paint going? Does it go towards the middle of the paper or does it go towards the edges of the paper?
  • Why do you think the paint is doing what it’s doing?

Depending on the level of the students you’re teaching, you can talk about centrifugal force.

Step 6: Display or use the spin art paintings!

There are many ways you can use your spin art paintings. Some of them include:

  • Display them together on the wall or board. A group of spin art paintings look amazing.
  • Create buntings for display.
  • Use them as greeting cards or notecards.
  • Use them to decorate notebooks or other supplies.
  • Use them as collage papers.

Spin Art Paintings

Science - STEAM Lesson IdeasScience – Talk about motion, centrifugal force.

Art - STEAM LessonArt – Colour theory. Action art.

Mathematics - STEAM LessonMathematics – Fractions. Circle Measurement.

BB-8 Star Wars SPRK lightning lab app
May 17

Light Painting with Sphero’s BB-8

By ShaiCoggins | Lesson Ideas

While looking for a Star Wars-related STEAM activity for Star Wars Day, I knew I wanted to work with our new BB-8 droid by Sphero that my daughter and I received from my husband for Christmas. I couldn’t find any ready-made lesson plans with this idea, though. So, I kept on brainstorming.

When I came across this light painting idea on Sphero’s website, I knew then that I wanted to try it. But, I wasn’t sure if our BB-8 droid worked with the app. When I found out that it did, it was a Eureka moment.  Now, I can’t wait to use BB-8 for many other STEAM activities. But, first – this light painting thing.


  • BB-8 droid from Sphero
  • iPad or iPhone with SPRK Lightning Lab App
  • Digital Camera with Slow Shutter capabilities
  • Dark Room
  • Fused app or Photoshop (optional)
  • Tripod (optional, but useful)

Topic: Photography + Light + Colours + Robotics
Age Group: 8+
Australian Curriculum: Media Arts, Science, Digital Technologies

We started the session with discussing what we were going to do – create light paintings using BB-8. I explained light painting by explaining the following briefly:

  • The etymology of ‘photography’. That is, is from the Greek words ‘phōtos’ or phōs, meaning “light” and “graphé” meaning “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”. So, together, the word means “drawing with light”.
  • We were going to literally draw with light using BB-8 as our light source. To do this, we will need to ‘drive’ BB-8 using the app on the iPad. But, to get the best kind of light painting, we need to make the room dark.
  • To capture the light drawing or painting in a dark room, we need to adjust the camera’s shutter speed. We briefly talked about shutter speed and what it means. That is, it is the length of time the camera lens is open to let in light. The slower the shutter speed, the longer the lens is open to let in more light. I mentioned that we would need the slowest shutter speed my digital camera phone would allow on manual mode (4s).

We also discussed the capabilities of the app driving BB-8. That is, it can change colour and they can change direction by using the ‘joystick’ on the screen. We used a big dark blanket on the floor to serve as the ‘canvas’ (ie, whoever is driving the droid should limit their movements within the ‘canvas’).

Since we only had two students in this session, it was easy to manage with just one set of the materials needed. One was asked to drive BB-8 while the other one takes photos. Then, after a few minutes, they will reverse the roles.

The person taking the photographs was asked to choose a spot in the room to take photos. They were instructed not to move the camera when taking the photos to keep the subject in focus and to best show the direction of the light. Ideally, the camera would be mounted on a tripod. But, we didn’t have the right set-up for the session, so the students simply had to keep their hands and arms steady. They were instructed to prop their arm on something like a table or floor to help keep them steady.

After the students had the chance to take their light painting photos, we reviewed their shots on the screen. Ideally, I would have let them edit their final images. But, since we ran out of time, I edited these final shots using the Fused app. The app allows two images to be ‘fused’ together. You can also achieve similar effects on Photoshop.

Light Painting with BB-8 Star Wars

Six different light paintings by the students were fused together in three different images, then put into a collage here.

To make it a collaborative effort, I opted to choose one image from each student per final piece. So, each of these final light painting pieces contain photographs taken by two students.

If I’m going to do this activity with a bigger group, I would assign 4 to 6 students in a group to work with one BB-8 droid. One can drive while the others take photos. They can then take turns. If using just one camera, the teacher/facilitator might want to take notes about who took which shots.

If there are limited materials (only one set available per class) and it’s a full-sized classroom, I would set-up different stations in the class. The BB-8 light painting can be one station and I would create similar or related activities in other stations. Then, the class will be divided into groups and assigned to a station, with a timer (depending on the number of students and the session time, each group might be given about 15 to 20 minutes each station).

The final light paintings may then be printed out, signed by the artists, and displayed as part of the assessment.

Science - STEAMLooking at the science of photography. In particular, the law of reciprocity.  This describes how light intensity and duration trade off to make an exposure—it defines the relationship between shutter speed and aperture, for a given total exposure. (via Wikipedia)

Technology - STEAMRobotics, operating a smart phone and/or tablet, using photography apps, and possibly coding may be covered in this lesson.  


Light, colours, and composition are all topics that come as part of doing a light painting.

This Light Painting with BB-8 project was featured at SteamKidsChallenge‘s weekly challenge on Instagram.

STEAM Kids Challenge Winner


Art Classes and Workshops for Kids, Families, and Adults in Adelaide
May 03

The Studio Is Now Open For Colours In Motion!

By ShaiCoggins | News and Announcements

Yes! Our studio in Sheidow Park in the Southern suburbs of Adelaide is opening its doors for the first time to the public this term.

We currently have two art classes available, starting 16th May 2017:

Pre-school Art & Sensory Class

This is a 45-minute “Parent and Child” class to be held weekly on Tuesdays, 9:30-10:15am. Best suited for kids age 2 to 5 years old. You can either  Book Per Session (AU$15 each session) or you can save and book for a 6-session Pack (AU$80).

After School Art & STEM Class

This is a one(1)-hour class for primary school-aged kids (5 to 12 years old). It will be held on Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30pm. Drop-offs welcome! You can also Book Per Session (AU$20 per session) or you can save and book for a 6-session Pack (AU$110).

There will be 7 sessions per class this term, with “Colours in Motion” being our theme. Each weekly class brings new lessons and new fun activities. No two sessions will be exactly the same!

What are the benefits of art classes for kids?
Apr 26

What are the benefits of art classes for kids?

By ShaiCoggins | Educational Essays

When people ask: “Why should I send my child to art classes?” I’m not even sure where to start when it comes to all the benefits of art education in children’s development.

The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential (PDF) written by Robyn Ewing and published by the Australian Council for Education Research (2010) shares a number of studies that highlight the need for arts education, not just for the ‘talented’ but for all children. It also mentions the different intrinsic and instrumental benefits of quality arts education, which include cognitive, attitudinal and behavioural, health, social, and economic benefits.

Ewing also mentioned Arts Corps, a Seattle-based organisation focusing on increasing students’ access to quality arts programming. According to Ewing, Arts Corps “cites tolerance for ambiguity and the ability to think metaphorically as important capabilities in solving problems and fostering creative habits of mind.”

Here are the key creative indicators:
• Imagining possibilities
• Critical thinking
• Persistence
• Discipline
• Courage
• Risk-taking
• Reflection

What are the benefits of art classes for kids?

Do you need formal art classes to reap such benefits? No, not at all. If you’re able to provide quality art enrichment activities at home or elsewhere, then your child is already developing these important skills that he or she can gain from art classes. However, if your child is not able to obtain such art-related education in their current routines, then it might be worth considering to find ways to supplement your child’s experiences.

Here are some ways that you can improve the quality of arts education in your child’s development:

1. Provide a “Maker Space” in your home. It doesn’t have to be a big space. Just a small tray of art and craft materials on a child’s table would be enough. Just make sure that your child is able to access it at any time and they won’t be afraid to ‘make a mess’ in that spot.

2. Make art as part of day-to-day and special activities. Display art at home. Go to art galleries and museums. Give art materials and books as gifts. The more your child is exposed to art, the more it would become part of their lives.

3. Take the time to make art together. Paint, write, colour, sing, dance… Usually, children like to model their parents, so if they see you doing it, they are more likely to follow your lead.

4. Share your support for the arts at your child’s school. Ask about the school’s art program. Encourage them to get artist residencies, run art clubs and art shows, etc if they’re not doing so already. Let them know that this is something that you would like to see as part of your child’s development and education.

5. Consider sending your child to specialist art programs in your local area. Find an art class near you and take your child. There are usually preschool art programs where parent and child can do sensory art together, or consider after school and weekend programs for your school-age child (or even teens!).

If you’re in Adelaide, Australia – let me know if you would like to chat more about an art program that’s suitable for your child. We might just have a place for you at Creative STEAM Studio.

Creative STEAM Studio - STEAM Education Adelaide Australia
Apr 26

Welcome to Creative STEAM Studio!

By ShaiCoggins | News and Announcements

Hello! I’m so glad you’re here.

Creative STEAM Studio is the space for this arts, literacy, and STEM education practice.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, STEAM stands for Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics.

Currently, I’m primarily operating from my home studio in the Southern suburbs of Adelaide, Australia. However, in-person classes and workshops for kids and adults may be held in various locations.

My name is Shai Coggins and I’m the resident artist and teacher here at the Studio. I’ve been practising as an artist for as long as I can remember. Although I’m primarily self-taught, I’ve taken various art classes and workshops in Australia (Adelaide Central School of Art, private studios and tutors, etc ), Singapore (La Salle – SIA College of the Arts, private tuition, etc), and the Philippines (Artist’s Gallery, etc). Some of my art have also been exhibited and sold in different parts of the world.

Two years ago, I was invited by a local art studio in Adelaide to teach art to adult learners. And, more recently, I began teaching a sketching workshop when a local art shop invited me to teach in their premises. The workshop was booked out and had tremendous feedback, so I got invited to teach more art classes.

I have a Master of Teaching degree from Flinders University, specialising in Primary and Special Education. During my studies, I maintained a high GPA and I received the University Award for Literacy Education from ALEA (Association of Literacy Educators in Australia). And, I’m now officially a registered teacher in Adelaide, South Australia.

I also have a Master of Social Science in Applied Psychology degree and a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Prior to taking on teaching, I was practising in the field of psychology, and later on, in digital media. I am currently running a digital media business called Vervely, where I have been privileged to work with some amazing clients, including Microsoft.

It has been a lifelong dream to combine my different interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics – and Literacy. That’s why Creative STEAM Studio came to life.

Although the Studio has only officially started in 2017, it really began when my two children were old enough to hold pencils and brushes.They were officially my first STEAM students.

C, aged 3, painting at home

C, making art when he was about 3 years old

M, aged 2, making art at home

M, making art when she was about 2 years old

Before having kids, I taught communication and literacy skills to children, teens, and adults at SpeechPower in the Philippines. Since then, I have done practicum teaching in primary schools here in Adelaide, Australia.

In my classes, I take special effort incorporating an integrated, multidisciplinary learning approach, whereby students develop skills and meet Australian Curriculum Standards across various subjects and strands. An example of this teaching approach may be found through this class website that I created for one of my classes.

Teaching a STEAM session in a Special Education Unit at a Primary School.

Shai uses hands-on and integrated techniques in classroom teaching. This was a science and health lesson on grouping fruits and vegetables, etc. in a Special Education Unit at a primary school in Adelaide, Australia. Later, an art lesson was introduced in conjunction with this lesson. The students were taught how to make “fruit faces”.

My hope is that through Creative STEAM Studio, I will be able to continue sharing my love of learning, literacy, and STEAM.