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.

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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 

 

Click here to see more examples of STEM units which use the engineering design process. 

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