With coding week nearly upon us again I decided to invest in some new coding hardware for our school. I had heard good reports about Sphero SPRK+ and so invested in a number of them for our school.
Sphero SPRK+ is a small but rugged spherical robot capable of rolling around, changing colours, running programmes and being controlled by a smartphone or tablet. It has Programmable sensors like motor encoders, LED lights, accelerometer, and a gyroscope which allow for countless experiences and coding conditions. It is reasonably priced and widely available, and connects to iPads or any smart phone or tablet through Bluetooth and the free coding app that is available in both android and iOS form. I purchased ours here. The Sphero SPRK+ can roll at a speed of up to 7km/h in any direction, spin, flip, and change colour. Using the app students can accurately direct the movement of the Sphero using code. To program a Sphero robot, you use the Sphero SPRK app to drag blocks, specify what the robot will do when it processes the block, and then order your blocks to make Sphero perform the actions in order. We have been using it now for a number of weeks and I am really impressed with it. We have made 2D shapes on the floor with masking tape and used code to direct the Sphero to follow the masking tape shape. Students have designed and created plastic cup characters that can be placed over the Sphero and then they created a story line and moved their cup characters that were covering their Sphero to retell the story. We even dipped the Spheros in paint and then made art by moving the spherical robots on a blank piece of paper. There are lots of activities available at the Sphero Edu homepage.
Sphero robots are suitable for all levels and provide the perfect platform to develop critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving skills through coding. It is amazingly versatile and will engage and empower your students for hours.