STEM and Sphero – Spark imaginations with Sphero Edu and SPRK+. Inspired STEM learning with a vast library of lessons and challenges for all abilities.
That spark. You know it. It’s that light in their eyes, that energy they exude when kids are fully engaged. When learning becomes so much more than the lesson. It becomes their whole world and they have immersed themselves in the experience, enjoying every moment as knowledge is freely soaked up. So often that spark is elusive as we try and educate our children. I know we lost it at the end of last year. But with STEM and Sphero Edu, we’ve reignited that energy in my children and I’m looking forward to a new year of empowered imaginations and passionate learning.
When I was approached about partnering with Sphero it took me about 2 seconds to say yes. It was a no brainer. Sphero is known for their amazing integration of technology and programming into educational play. Perfect for infusing some exciting new STEM into our elementary lessons. This was a fantastic opportunity, but even I was shocked at how passionate my kids were with their new Sphero SPRK+. Especially with their new #BeyondCode approach. It’s absolutely brilliant for educators and children who love learning through discovery and play. Which means it was perfect for our STEAM Powered Family!
Sphero Edu and SPRK+ A Learning Dream Team
Waiting for our Sphero SPRK+ to charge the first time was pure agony for the kids. They were bouncing with excitement! What kid doesn’t love a new toy, especially a robot?
Then the big moment came as our quirky little ball of circuits came to life, colourful lights flashing. We quickly and easily connected it to our tablet with the Sphero Edu app and it was then that we discovered a library of computer science and programming fun at our finger tips inside Sphero Edu. Suddenly our Sphero SPRK+ was so much more than just another point and click toy. It was truly a tool that was designed to share knowledge and impart programming skills.
But Sphero Edu is about more than programming. It brings STEM and STEAM principles to life by incorporating the 4 C’s that have been identified as key in 21st Century education: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, one of the things I love as a teacher of very diverse ages and levels of ability, is that Sphero SPRK+ provides three levels of functionality – draw, blocks and text.
STEM Learning For All Ages And Abilities with SPRK+
For my youngest, he could draw the programs on the screen that he wanted the robot to execute. It was quick, easy, and an instant win for my learner who struggles in so many of his lessons and learning. In moments, he had it running about everywhere. His favourite part? Studying the patterns that were created as the app would “draw” how the Sphero SPRK+ moved. For a child with extensive special needs and global learning delays, so many learning tools leave him frustrated and confused. With Sphero SPRK+ he was relaxed, excited, having fun, and most of all learning without any stress!
Now this is where Sphero Edu got all of us very excited, it contains an extensive library of programs. Both from the talented minds at Sphero, and from the community. My boys spent so much time going through all the different program libraries. Running the programming, studying the code. They were fascinated!
They turned their Sphero SPRK+ into a magic 8 ball, played hot potato, sent it on patrols and so much more. Oh, they also discovered that it’s waterproof and I found them taking it for a swim in the bathtub at one point!
Sphero Edu – A STEM Learning Resource For Educators
Once I was able to spend a few moments with Sphero Edu myself, I discovered a vast amount of resources including many fantastic STEAM challenges. These were challenges that incorporate math skills and engineering builds. They require creativity, logic and critical thinking. Many also require team work. Plus a few challenges even involve art. True STEAM activities!
I found myself inspired and excited. I couldn’t wait to teach my kids using this tool. Not only did I find many challenges that were ready to go, but I found myself brainstorming new ideas and challenges that incorporate my children’s interests and some of our other studies. The possibilities are endless.
So as I work on our lesson plans for this upcoming school year, I now find myself spending a lot of time in Sphero Edu picking out STEM challenges for the kids to do. Right now my plan is to pick 2 challenges a month for the kids to tackle. Knowing my kids, and how much this has sparked their passions, I know these two challenges will spin off into many more exciting adventures. Who knows where their imaginations may take our lessons? This cute little ball of circuits has sparked their excitement to learn programming and technology, and I’m thrilled to see how excited they are to dig in and learn from Sphero Edu.
When my kids have that spark, I know learning is exactly what is should be… fun, engaging, exciting and meaningful. With Sphero Edu and SPRK+ we finally have that spark back!
Over the years we have enjoyed many Sphero products. These are all the Sphero products that we have and love!