Spheros in Space

Our Unit: What students did… 
Code the Spheros to navigate successfully through a course designed to represent possible terrain found on an unknown planet. Students needed to consider the friction of different surfaces, force and acceleration to guide the Spheros through the course.

copy of photo no kidsIMG_2919IMG_0038 - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum Connections

  • STEM: using the engineering design process in the context of coding
  • Science: physical sciences, forces
  • Digital Technology: using a sequence of steps (algorithms) to create solutions.
  • Maths: measurement and angles
  • Literacy: procedure writing for how to code the sphero or exposition/persuasive writing (eg. Are technologies like Siri smarter than people?)

 

Stimulus- New Solar System 

 

Alternative Space Stimulus

 

Learning to code the Sphero: best place to start

This tutorial gives students the skills they need to code the Sphero through teaching students to make a square. I go through the tutorial step-by-step with students, displaying the tutorial on the interactive whiteboard.

Challenge: Once students know how to draw a square with the Sphero, can they work out how to alter the code, to create a rectangle? Can they make efficient changes to the code to create other quadrilaterals?

 

Activities to practise coding

  • Draw a path with chalk. Students code the sphero to follow the path.
  • Arrange obstacles such as cones, and students code the sphero to make it through the obstacles
  • Code the sphero to draw a number, letter or shape
  • Place a hula hoop  about 3 metres from the starting point of the sphero. Students code the sphero to go in the hoop.
  • Have a starting and finishing line. Students aim to get the sphero to STOP on the finishing line.

 

Lending Library- teachers can borrow sets of Spheros

 

Other coding websites

Click here for more coding resources, including a step-by-step guide.

 

Science Resources

 

Assessment 

Sphero Unit Assessment- Coding, Design Process and Skills 

Generic Science Experiment Assessment

 

Video introduction to coding

 

Inspiration 

 

Science Content: Solar System

Real World Connections

Discovery of a new solar system 

20 mysterious radio bursts
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-10-11/askap-telescope-in-western-australia-bags-huge-haul-of-frbs/10357170

Scientists have landed a new spacecraft on Mars
https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-11-26/mars-insight-nasa-mission-to-take-the-red-planets-pulse/10490342

Dr Katie Bouman: computer scientist whose algorithm made the historic image of a black hole possible. She was among a team of 200 researchers who contributed to the breakthrough. Credit and full articles: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/11/katie-bouman-black-hole-photohttps://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-04-11/black-hole-event-horizon-telescope-five-things-you-might-miss/10993112

 

Introduction to the solar system

How the solar system began…

NASA pdf poster for how the solar system began

Video and NASA poster reference: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/solar-system-formation/en/

 

Technology in Space

Interactive website where students can explore technologies invented for space that we use in our everyday lives. https://homeandcity.nasa.gov/

space.png

Primary Connections- Earth and Space Science Units

These resources are available for free, for teachers in Australian schools via the Scootle website. Click the links below, to be directed to the resource on the Scootle website. Login via your education network, eg. South Australian Department for Education and Child Development.

If you are not a teacher in an Australian school, the resources can be purchased from this website: https://primaryconnections.org.au/curriculum-resources .

Earth and Space: Yr 3 night_and_day

Earth and Space Science: Yr 4 Beneath_our_feet_

Earth and Space Science: Yr 5 Earths_place_in_space

Earth and Space Science: Yr 6 Earthquake_explorers 

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