Gold Sphero

21. Computational Thinking
This is an 11 minute Sphero SPRK video hosted on YouTube. The direct link.



This is a Quest with a subset of several classroom activities. These require the use of the Sphero SPRK + Robotic Ball. These are part of the Michigan REMC Classroom Maker Kits and are available through a number of stores and websites worldwide.

The Sphero is powered by the Lightning Lab app. Sphero is a programable translucent ball about the size of a baseball. It is Bluetooth enabled and works with the iOS and Android apps and available with chargers for different countries. It comes with a cardboard protractor, a pencil, paper and a book. This is a great opportunity for any age to learn to program a fun robotic object.

I Can Statements

  • program Sphero to create geometrical shapes
  • program Sphero to dance to a favorite song (approved by your teacher)
  • program Sphero to navigate a maze and compete with your classmates in navigating the maze the quickest
  • refine the programs to be most efficient
  • use sensor data as a tool to revise my code
  • relate the drag and drop code in JavaScript
  • use the camera feature to record Sphero

Key Vocabulary

App: An App is an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device.

Bluetooth: Bluetooth is the standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices.

If-then statement: An if-then statement is a high-level programming language statement that compares two or more sets of data and tests the results.

Program: To program is to provide (a computer or other machine) with coded instructions for the automatic performance of a particular task.

Robot: A robot is a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer.

Play the Vocabulary Game below to practice the Key Vocabulary

You can change the Quiz mode to Match, Test, Learn, Flash Cards, Spell using the selection list at the bottom right of the activity that says "Choose a Study Mode." Direct Link

You can easily learn programming, complete hands-on activities, and share your creations. Once you program Sphero you will be able to see the Java code for your program. You will use code to determine such things as direction (heading), the time and the speed. You may also determine the color, sound, and how many times the program will repeat. The ultimate challenge will be to program Sphero to navigate a maze and then create a maze based upon Sphero’s program.

There are four different activities for Sphero. You will go through each activity and program the Sphero to do a variety of things. Use the links below to move on to each activity. (These activities and more can also be found on the Sphero website.)

Sphero Activity One

Sphero Activity Two

Sphero Activity Three

Sphero Activity Four


MITECS  Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

1. Empowered Learner
d. Understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies

4. Innovative Designer
a. Know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems
b. Select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks
c. Develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process
d. Exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems

5. Computational Thinker
c. Break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving
d. Understands how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions

7. Global Collaborator
c. Contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal