Lessons from Lending Library

Below are examples of lessons taught by previous visitors to our Lending Library.


Westward Movement with Spheros

Savannah Coons
Crossroads Elementary School

As part of the westward expansion history unit, we explored the routes in which Louis and Clark and later inspired pioneers took to move west. Students were in groups and as a group, they were to become pioneers themselves and determine a route to take to move west. In groups, they were to research 5 stops along their route to create dialogue as part of their presentation. To move west, students used mini Spheros and began in the state of Missouri, just like the pioneers, and from there moved west across the USA floor rug. Students discussed the hardships and choices they had to make along the way as well as celebrated once they reached the west! Students enjoyed utilizing Spheros and working in groups, as I found out they have not had this opportunity since COVID19, it was a great experience for me as a student teacher to witness and for the students to dive back into.

Oil Spill Clean Up!

Leah Morton, B.S. Ed.
James Monroe Elementary School

Students of James Monroe Elementary School were challenged to create a process for cleaning up a model oil spill. The goal was to design an oil spill cleanup process that removes as much oil from their oceans and rivers as possible. Students were asked which materials would do a good job removing the oil from their bodies of water. Students worked collaboratively and individually to imagine and discuss ways to create their own oil spill clean up solution. They had an option to choose from sponges, cotton balls, or pipettes to remove the oil from their models. Majority of the students believed that the pipettes would be the best and most effective solution in removing the oil from their models.

Sphero Vehicle Design Challenge

Nick Andrada, M.Ed.
Academy for Discovery at Lakewood

Students were first asked what they thought an engineer was and what types of jobs involve engineering. After a brief discussion, I explained how we will have to be engineers this year when we design, test, and modify solutions to problems we’re presented with. Then the students were introduced to the Sphero robots and a quick demonstration of how they work. The challenge was presented to design a vehicle for Sphero to pull a short distance, turn around, and come back to the start. Since this was the students’ first design challenge, the criteria for success were simply to make sure Sphero was able to pull the vehicle, but not roll it out. The students were very excited to create and test their designs, as well as cheer on their classmates. Groups who did not successfully complete the initial testing phase were all able to rework their vehicles and come up with a working model. There were many comments about what they would do differently next time and lots of lightbulb moments from watching other groups test their designs.

Sphero Coding and Obstacle Challenge

Nick Andrada, M.Ed.
Academy for Discovery at Lakewood

Students were given a brief introduction to what Spheros robots are. Students were shown how to use basic coding to make the Spheros move forward and back in a straight line. Students were then also shown how to manually control and maneuver the Spheros in a zig-zag direction. Then I explained to the students that they are going to work as a team and have an obstacle challenge with their Spheros. The object of the challenge was to maneuver the Spheros around the cups and then back without knocking the cups down. The first team to finish the obstacle course will be declared the winner of the obstacle challenge.

Sphero Activity: Reindeer & North Pole

Helen Y. Watson, M.S.Ed.
Mary Calcott Elementary School

Third Grade students had opportunity to design and create a sleigh that was pulled by their Sphero (Reindeer).  Students coded their Sphero to travel from one destination to another (North Pole).

Circumnavigating With Spheros!

Clara Bilka
Deep Creek Central Elementary School