With the release of BOLT, Sphero has added some cool new features to their traditional robot design, including an animation matrix, light sensor, and BOLT to BOLT robot communication. They have also updated the Sphero Edu app, so robots can also connect to Chrome, Mac and Windows computers. But at $149.99, are these features worth the extra $20 over the popular SPRK+? Read on for an in-depth look at 6 new BOLT features plus 3 awesome STEM activities for your classroom set!
Sphero is a robotics company that makes toy robots (you might have seen their BB-8 design), as well as educational robots to make learning fun! In the world of education, they are known best for their SPRK+ robot, which has already captivated classrooms around the world. Now, with the recent release of their newest robot BOLT, Sphero is continuing to showcase their innovative ideas and the educational value of robotics in the classroom. Read on to learn why I love using Sphero in my STEM program along with my favorite STEM Sphero Activities. And in my next post, I will dive even further into using the new BOLT robot!
All my middle school students came back to school this year bragging about their newest Christmas gift - a Sphero robot! Since we have spent the last couple months programming SPRK+ robots in our afterschool Space Club program, I will take this as a positive sign of success! Students love how quickly they can learn to program, never get bored with the endless games and challenges, and have fun showing off their dancing, flashing, spinning robot. Read on for more tips and tricks on teaching with Sphero robots in your classroom or program.
Last year, I helped organize four middle school Robotics Clubs that participated in GEAR and First Lego League competitions. While I believe robotics is an amazing component of STEM education, I wanted to highlight some of the challenges we faced in creating a quality after school program. I also outlined some possible solutions to help overcome these challenges, which I am implementing this year.
Once students get over the initial hurdle of learning the basics of programming and building, they can quickly feel a sense of accomplishment and a boost in confidence. Robotics in the real-world may only be a part of the wide world of engineering, but participating in robotics allows students to authentically experience the engineering design process.