Robots used at Georgian Bay District SS to teach coding to students

As part of a year-long Teacher Learning and Leadership Program, two teachers at Georgian Bay District Secondary School (GBDSS), Wendy Bumstead and Lisa Coughlin, provided a unique learning opportunity to a group of Grade 9 and 10 students. Sphero SPRK+ robots and an app called Lightning Lab were used to teach coding (computer programming).

In addition to learning how to code and program a robot, the high school students made visits to seven elementary schools in the area to teach Grade 8 students what they had learned. They gave the Grade 8 students a challenge of coding the robots themselves and inviting them to bring their projects to GBDSS. Presentations took place on Thursday, April 20 for their Sphero Coding Challenge Day.

“The day was amazing,” says Wendy Bumstead, Grade 9 and 10 science teacher at GBDSS. “The students went above and beyond our wildest expectations.”

Sphero coding projects such as mazes, golf courses, bowling and even complex machines (four Sphero robots coded and synchronized to work as wheels for a car) were presented by the students.

There were a few troubleshooting issues for some of the students, but they kept calm and persevered.

“Critical thinking and problem solving were all demonstrated throughout the event and in its preparation,” says Bumstead. “Overall, it was a successful day for both our elementary feeder schools and their mentor Grade 9 and 10 students.”

With the success of the day, they are already thinking about future events with the Sphero robots. What will the students decide to code next!?

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