Sphero balls have become a staple part of many schools Makerspaces and mine is no different. They really do offer amazing creativity and deep learning through visual programming with strong links to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths) problem solving skills and computational thinking.
CompNow ran a competition this year to promote the use of Sphero's in education and in particular how they can be included in all areas of the curriculum. It was timely that the Olympics were recently held in Rio and provided an interesting cross curricula topic.
The brief was to create a video (Max 2 min) sharing your schools participation in the Sphero Olympics. Events where suggested however new events could be added if you wanted.
- 100m sprint
- Long jump
- Chariot Race
The Sphero olympics was a lot of fun and our students really enjoyed designing and creating the props such as the stadium, soccer field, hurdle jumps and olympians. My students competed in the following events; Swimming, hurdles, 100m sprint, soccer, opening ceremony and a 3D printed chariot race.
This challenge also showed teachers that the Spehro can be more than just a programmable robot. They can be blended into any curriculum content and really challenge students thinking and creativity. The inclusion of craft materials was something our teachers hadn't made the connection with before. Now the ideas and creative thinking are coming in thick and fast.
We used the IOS app Tickle on our iPads to do all our programming. I find the students enjoy the user friendly interface Tickle provides and it is also a good app to use when introducing Sphero's.
Below is the video I entered for the challenge and it won first place. Many thanks to CompNow for sponsoring the event. Point Cook P-9 College is the proud recipient of a $5K tech bundle. We can't wait to add more cool tech to our Makerspace.
These are the 3D printed Sphero carts we used for the chariot race.
Here is an example of a DIY Sphero cart using Kinex building rods.
Students using the app Tickle to program their offensive and defensive plays.
Using 3D pens to create the olympic rings.
Students planned and collaborated on their designs using the whiteboard tables.
Students and teachers were amazed the Sphero can also be used in water. Students tried a combination of elastic band patterns on the Sphero to assist propulsion through the water.
Students used a variety of media to create the olympic stadium, including PVC pipe, cardboard, gaffatape, hot glue guns etc.