Eduporium Experiment | Sphero SPRK+

  • Posted on: November 8, 2017 - 12:46pm
  • By: anna

Sphero SPRK+ is one of Sphero’s latest additions to their seriously cool line of robots. Although only the size of a baseball, it is packed with educational power. When paired with the Sphero Edu app, the opportunities for learning are boundless. Kids have the option to write code in either a Blockly or path drawing environment and then work their way up to coding in JavaScript. There are so many customizable ways for them to control everything from Sphero’s movements, lights, sensors, and more!

In the app, there are also numerous tutorial videos and activities uploaded from Sphero and the Sphero community. Or, if kids just want to drive Sphero around, there’s a control function for that, too! Whether they want to freestyle and start their own program, need inspiration for an activity, or want to spin Sphero SPRK+ in the bath tub (that’s right—it’s waterproof!), Sphero SPRK+ paired with the Sphero Edu app is an engaging way to introduce programming with a side of fun.

In the box, is Sphero SPRK+, a charging base and cable, maze tape, protractor, sticker sheet, and a Quick Start Guide. It is available individually as well as in an Education 12-pack to promote collaborative coding in the classroom. Designed with education in mind, the SPRK+ has a clear shell, so students can see the inner electronics at work while they’re powering the robot. Plus, its new and improved Bluetooth capabilities make pairing with devices as simple as ever. Just open the Sphero Edu app and Sphero SPRK+ will automatically connect with compatible devices that include iOS, Android, Kindle, and Chrome devices.

In the Eduporium office, I used the Sphero Edu app to roll Sphero SPRK+ around on my desk, on the carpet, and in a container of water. I found the versatility of Sphero SPRK+ to be ideal for school environments or for kids to use at home. For younger students, it may be wise to consider the Sphero SPRK+ cover options, too. Although the shell is durable, you never know what can happen with tiny hands!

I also took a shot at programming Sphero SPRK+. I changed its LEDs, made it roll in certain directions and at certain speeds, and had it make funny animal noises upon completion of the program. It was so simple yet engaging that it didn’t even feel like I was programming! As with most Blockly environments, the options are endless and truly inspire creativity while introducing programming. The highlight for me was the ability to code Sphero SPRK+ in Javascript because this option allows students to immediately see how the simpler code they create in the Blockly environment transfers into a more complex language and vice-versa.

Add interactivity and engagement to experiential learning with Sphero SPRK+! To purchase one for your classroom (or yourself), click here to visit the Eduporium store! And, look out next Wednesday for the next edition of the Eduporium Experiment featuring the HTC Vive! In the meantime, don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more and you might as well like us on Facebook, too!