Volunteering: Sphero Club

Using Sphero programming to paint with light; a 30-second time lapse photograph of a BB-8 Sphero droid.

This year, I’ve been very fortunate to lead a group of up to 60 4th and 5th grade students at Black Rock Elementary School every Thursday morning at Sphero Club. As a career software developer, I’m fortunate to assist in passing the critical thinking skills of software-based problem solving to the next generation.

It’s often nerve-wracking to try to come up with a new idea every week!  Some of the activities we’ve done this year:

  • Painting with Light: The students were tasked to create a block program lasting 30 seconds to make their Spheros spin, dance, and change colors across a 3 ft by 3 ft area. I took 30-second long exposure photos with my DSLR (seen above) and had them printed for the class.
  • Bowling with Sphero: Students created a block program to roll forward 6 ft and then efficiently traverse a 3 by 3 ft grid containing a cup pyramid to knock down as many cups as possible. The students learned about creating an efficient repeating loop with patterns.
  • Mystery 8 Ball: The students were asked to recreate a random answer game where the Sphero spoke and changed color. The students learned about conditional logic and  responding to input.