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.
- 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
- 20 mysterious radio bursts
- Scientists have landed a new spacecraft on Mars
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.
- Friction: http://www.abc.net.au/science/video/2013/08/06/3811724.htm
- Primary Connections Resources: available free via Scootle for teachers in Australia
- NASA lesson plans and ideas
- How to develop scientific inquiry skills… resources, ideas and examples.
Video introduction to coding