It is a sign of technology advancing when spherical-robots are accessible by the touch of a digital pad. No longer are we resigned to seeing these cute little roller-balls communicating with Luke Skywalker through a galactic adventure. We now have the opportunity ourselves to pioneer new creative pathways in education and teleport ourselves into the future of problem-solving.
The Grade 7’s were the first in the school to put our new “Sphero’s” to the test. Each group was put in charge of their own robot and was tasked with multiple excursions around the Hall. Each station had an objective to complete and could only be solved by the understanding of the current class curriculum as well as a limited introduction of how to Code and program this mechanical ball to move. The Sphero works through its own App, connected via Bluetooth and is manoeuvred with the construction of carefully planned program blocks. As a programmer, you need to construct your own robotic pathway according to the parameters of the task.
The Grade 7’s initially discovered through many trials and multiple errors that developing robotic skills required patience and team-work. Teams that used all members to engage equally through planning, describing, understanding and route plotting were able to complete most tasks with relative ease. Others had to painstakingly learn the hard way and eventually saw the that only by allowing all members to work together could they be successful. This Sphero training was not in vain and it leads us towards our Geography and Mathematics Project of Bearing and Direction.
Throughout the term, we have been learning about Magnetic North, True North, Magnetic declination and Direction finding through a compass and its cardinal points. Thus, when the staff were put through a lovely Friday training run by the Think Ahead Team, we discovered how this educational tool worked and how it operated on the very topics we were currently teaching. We then brainstormed an idea to create a project based on these areas that utilised the Sphero to tap into classroom understanding, that could then be applied in an exciting educational way. The project tested all areas of co-operative group work and allowed learners to fully utilise the Sphero’s abilities to direct, map and create through compass bearing.
We look forward to many more opportunities to live in the future of robotics and apply learned classroom knowledge to real-world problems and applications.

Comments are closed.