Sphero our Hero! – STEM

In STEM class the last several weeks, the 4th and 5th graders have been crawling around on the floor with our Spheros and tablets. A Sphero is a robot ball that is controlled by a tablet or phone. We can drive them around or program them to perform many different actions. So far, we have driven them to play “Red Rover” and “Cardboard Houses” and programmed them to perform challenges. After we were familiar with the driving and programming functions, we jumped right into the programming side of the robot. We began by programming our Spheros to follow a maze that we made with tape on the ground. When done, the students could press a start button and watch the Sphero follow the maze. This involved precision coding and the use of a protractor for finding angles. An example of the Sphero programming involves a simple “roll” block. The student must enter seconds, speed, and direction After that, we moved on to obstacle courses. The students engineered an obstacle course for the Sphero to navigate. I was amazed at all the different creations and the incredible job they did on the programming. They were smart to test the Sphero on certain sections of the build, so that changes could be made along the way. We have had a wonderful time learning with this small package of advanced technology. I’m glad to hear that many of the students are getting one for the holidays. I have no doubt that they will come back from the break and teach me something new.
Shelley Adkisson, STEM teacher