By: Jeffrey Derrick
The Sphero SPRK is a coding education robot designed to engage coding students of all levels with its easy to use interface and logic programming. The SPRK is the precursor to the Sphero Bolt and the Sphero Mini, additional coding robots with similar applications. The SPRK makes use of beginner logical and block based programming, or more advanced Java coding in order to familiarize STEM focused students with the processes behind code development. The SPRK makes use of the Sphero Play app or the Sphero EDU app in order to develop functions for the robot. There are also additional tools that compliment the functionality of the SPRK, such as the Sphero Play Mat, Chariot, and Jump Ramp.
Although the SPRK functions the same as the Sphero Mini, the main difference between the technologies can be seen in the larger size as well as the SPRK being waterproof. The SPRK is a product from Sphero’s K-12 education program, centered around Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, in order to bring those disciplines together in education development. The Sphero mission is centered around equipping learners from many backgrounds to engage in their interests from multiple angles. The SPRK specifically is designed to familiarize elementary students with logical design, algorithm development, and the basics of coding. By providing simple tools to facilitate this coding, the SPRK makes coding fun and easy for students, while also having a strong physical component that makes the coding process immediate and familiar to the real world. Students can see the direct consequences of their design, and have fun doing so.
Sphero is transforming K-12 education with accessible tools that encourage exploration, imagination, and perseverance through STEAM and computer science. Sphero assists educators worldwide in developing programs for student development and engagement across multiple disciplines. Sphero has also developed such products as the Sphero Indi Education Robot, the Specdrums, the Little Bits Workshop, among other tools designed to integrate education and technology.
Examples in the labs
In the lab we have the Sphero Mini, a smaller version of the SPRK. This is functionally very similar to the SPRK, making use of similar programs and systems to drive its functionality.
Uses in education
The SPRK is a good tool for students to understand AR systems and how they can connect digital and physical environments. As it encourages students to play with code, it is a valuable tool for elementary educators looking to engage students in STEM processes and algorithm development.
Interested in learning more about how technology can be useful in the field of education? Check out these digital experiences:
Sphero SPRK+. Programmable Robot Ball: Sphero SPRK+ | Teach STEM with Sphero. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://sphero.com/products/sphero-sprk-plus.
Sphero Bolt Coding Robot. Coding Robot: Sphero BOLT | Teach STEM for Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://sphero.com/products/sphero-bolt.
Sphero Mini Robot Ball. Sphero. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://sphero.com/products/sphero-mini.
Inspiring the creators of Tomorrow. Sphero. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://sphero.com/pages/about-us.
Get to know indi: Screenless Programming & Learning Robot for Kids | Sphero indi. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://sphero.com/pages/sphero-indi.
Sphero Specdrums 2 rings. Teach Computer Science & Music With Sphero’s Specdrums – 2-pack. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://sphero.com/products/specdrums-2-rings.
Littlebits at-home learning starter kit. Sphero. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://sphero.com/collections/all/products/littlebits-at-home-learning-starter-kit.