Different Color Connectors and Straw Lengths

Guide on how to convert the full-length straw pieces from an early Strawbees kit to the precut straw sizes to follow along student resources throughout Strawbees Classroom.

Construction Pieces for Building

Strawbees has an entire product line available for teachers to use in their learning environments, but we also have had kits for individuals at home to seperate the difference. The kits we offer to schools are different from the kits you can buy for your home but what projects you can build with one type, you can build with the other. Since then, the Strawbees kits transitioned to new pieces. This article is to support how to use convert previous kits with different color connectors and straw lengths to have an easier time following along with the building resources throughout Strawbees Classroom.

Connectors

Connectors are respectively in 1, 2, 3, and 5-legs. From the earlier generations of Strawbees kits, the connectors started off as the color white, no matter the number of legs present. In a future updated kit, we assigned each connector a color because it’s easier to communicate through the video and image instructions which piece you need. But also because they are usually sorted and stored separately, and it’s much easier when each one has its own color.

The white and color-coded connectors are the same size and shape. These do not need to be cut and can be used interchangeably. Both types of connectors make amazing builds! The new connectors are the same as the white connectors, color-coded for easy spotting and facilitation in the classroom to use for the instructions.

White connectors are found in early generations of Strawbees kits.

The 4 color-coded connectors today.

Straws

Previous Strawbees kits had about 8 colors in full-length sizes. To reduce the amount of waste generated during play and learning we switched from “cut your own straws” because even if creations were amazing, it was hard to reuse the trimmed pieces for future projects. Moving toward precut color-coded 5 different straw lengths allows faster prototyping with more precision of implementing ideas using building instructions and without excess waste.

If you happen to have several colors and only one size of straws, 240 mm/24 cm, there is a Straw Measuring PDF below to cut these straws into exact same sizes as we designed. The benefit of cutting a set of your own straws is to build beautiful projects entirely in one color.

If your kit has 5 precut straw sizes, this is the most recent version.

240mm (24 cm) full-length straws in 8 colors of previous Strawbees kits.

The 5 color-coded, precut straws in different lengths.

Color-coded Instructions

When created with the color-coded pieces, different sizes or number of legs with the building operations in mind, eventually students will visually disassemble in their mind how a project is made by looking at an image.

All pieces are color-coded for following step-by-step instructions or looking at a single image as a reference.

This article is a guide to show how to cut the previous full-length straws into any size and make the same shapes. The precut straw sizes in the current Strawbees kits are designed to easily follow the Create and Build sections throughout all student resources in the Strawbees Classroom.

Cutting and Measuring Straws

The newest Strawbees are brightly color-coded and arrive precut to exact measurements! If you have full-length or same-size Strawbees straws, or other types of straws, there is a resource to help with accurately measuring and cutting these straws. Your straws will be ready to go for the current and future Strawbees activity and lesson resources. This is the measurement visual handout ready to print.

The straw measurer template is for trimming full-length straws from previous kits into a construction set of precut pieces. This makes following building instructions of lessons and activity resources throughout Strawbees Classroom easier.

Straw Measurer Template

The goal of having precisely cut straws is to reduce plastic waste and to enable students and teachers to more rapidly produce and refine their prototypes and designs. Equally important, teachers and students are freed to spend more time learning, reflecting, and sharing, while devoting less time to solving issues to figuring out exact sizes.

Print the straw measurer template and cut the exact same sizes as we designed or use a ruler and measure the straws following the guide above. Make sure if you print the document that you know a full-length straw matches the size of the 240mm blue graphic on the sheet before cutting large amounts of straws. If you don’t test you risk cutting straws at the wrong size.

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Choose to cut and prepare these straws in advance for students, especially if serving younger learners. Older students in secondary school can be tasked to carefully measure and cut the straws could be a fun and engaging way to explore units of metric measurements. This process can give students more of a sense of ownership over the materials, especially if they are making their own reusable set of Strawbees for ongoing projects throughout the year. If this is the option be mindful to set aside classroom time in order to model for students how to carefully measure and cut the straws.

Using the straw measuring as a guide cut and create a set to follow the activities on the Strawbees Classroom.