Sphero Activities for the Classroom
Coding robots are one of the latest trends in education and they teach vital STEM skills in a way that engages learners. One of the most popular robots on the market is the Sphero – a tennis ball-sized robot that can be controlled from a tablet or phone. Take a look below at some of our favourite ways to use a Sphero in the classroom.
Build New Challenges
At first, it is important for students to get the hang of how to move the Sphero robot by using the basic controls. Once they successfully do this, it is important to challenge their learning further by using other resources to create new challenges that refine their skills. Take the Sphero Terrain Pack, for example, this inexpensive add-on can be purchase for the Sphero robots and can lead to lots of new challenges. The Pack consists of two plastic blue ramps, stands, and bridging components that can be configured in five different ways that will challenge even experienced coders. Create a narrow path between the two ramps and ask learners to code the Sphero robots to move up the ramp, along the pathway without falling off, and down the ramp at the other side. Once they have the hang of this, challenge pupils to time themselves and race other teams.
Create a Maze
The main function of Sphero Robots is to develop coding skills in children. By linking to bot up to the SpheroEdu app, available on tablets and smartphones, pupils can use the movement and timing buttons to move the Sphero around the room. To further challenge pupils, create a maze on the ground for them to follow. Using Sphero Maze Tape is a quick and easy way to do this. The tape also includes centimetre and meter markings, so this activity would fit perfectly into a numeracy lesson where students can work out distance and perimeter in an active way, before coding their robots to negotiate the maze that they have built.
Build an Obstacle Course
This idea can be developed into a full project. Brief the pupils of the task and put them in groups to design an activity course for another team. This will develop their creativity and teamwork skills. To add in a literacy element to this, each team could do a piece of writing that describes their course and explains why they designed it this way. If your school has a set of Sphero Robots, then pupils can make their own obstacles. If not, the Sphero Mini Activity kit is a great product that will help facilitate this. The kit comes with 15 activity cards that detail some great ideas on how to create obstacle courses, construct towers and play games such as croquet with the materials that you have. Also in the kit are cones, pins, obstacle loops, a robotic ball cover, a construction set, and one Sphero mini which glows different colours due to its LED lights. The kit is a great start to allow teachers to see the potential of Sphero coding, before investing in class sets. We promise you will not be disappointed!
Comment down below with the different ways that you have incorporated Sphero products in your classroom.