Pitchfest winner: How ‘Unruly Splats’ helps kids build STEM identities

Unruly Splats, created by Unruly Studios, introduces students to coding as they create their own games, activities and interactive experiences.

Unruly Splats is undeniably one of the great names in edtech. But what does it teach?

The program, created by Unruly Studios, introduces students to coding as they create their own games and interactive experiences.

Unruly Studios is also one of the winners of FETC 2023’s Pitchfest, which recognizes innovative edtech startups. In January, a number of growing edtech companies pitched their platforms in front of a Future of Education Technology Conference panel of industry experts, district administrators, front-line educators, parents, investors and a live audience.

What it does: Unruly Splats are designed to help K-8 students build positive STEM identities and introduce them to coding through hands-on play. Students use a drag-and-drop coding interface to create their own games, activities and interactive experiences.

Teacher support is provided through a membership program that includes a dedicated school success manager who assists teachers with ongoing PD, coaching, curriculum development and lesson planning. Teachers also have access to a library of customizable activities and challenges for their students.

Members can connect and collaborate with other Unruly educators. Members have access to four annual community events—Stomp Madness, Go Bananas, So You Think You Can Code?! and Family Coding Night—that are focused on learning and community building through parent-teacher collaboration.

Why it’s amazing: Unruly Splats incorporate computer science into core subjects, electives and STEM instruction to expand access to more students. When students build STEM confidence from a young age, it opens doors to continued opportunities in high school, college and careers.

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What educators say about Unruly Studios: Educators say Unruly Splats are an inclusive tool that brings kids together, increases student engagement and immerses even the most reluctant learners. Teachers also save time and expand curricula by integrating Unruly Splats with their existing lesson plans.

Tami Byron, STEM instructional supervisor PK-12 at Newport News Public Schools in Virginia, says the Unruly Splats team serves as an extension of the district’s implementation team.

“The true value of Splats lies beyond the program itself,” Byron attests. “When you invest in Unruly Splats, you’re not just purchasing a resource, you’re entering a partnership. The developers are committed to working directly with teachers, addressing their unique needs, and supporting them throughout the journey.”

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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