How did Club Sphero get started?
The club started almost on accident. I saw the Sphero for the first time at a birthday party for a friend’s wife. Listening to a teacher in Carmel talk about how they used them only started my wheels spinning. After showing my students the online video clips for Sphero, many said they already had them but didn’t really play with them much. I had them bring their Spheros in one morning before school and saw how much excitement they generated and the club just took off from there. My co-sponsor, Josh Tegrotenhuis [also a science teacher at FCI] had his kids bring theirs. Two weeks into our informal club, we had over 30 kids showing. We started off with a few old putting holes playing putt-putt golf with various obstacles, played some ‘World Cup’ Sphero soccer, coded bowling, and are now playing ‘Final Four’ basketball. The kids keep coming and they keep challenging Josh and I as teachers to come up with new fun ways of using the Spheros. The learning is really disguised within. the fun. We’ve coupled the club with 3d printing and it has taken us to a whole new level of design and learning.
What skills, abilities, and interests are the students developing?
Cooperation, coding, science, math, engineering, and technology.
What do you think has made the club so successful?
The club is very interactive and students get to use their devices. I think the kids really like learning outside the classroom and beyond the textbook. Keeping the learning game-oriented makes it fun and competitive for them.