Fifth Graders Learning Coding to Prepare for Sphero Olympics

Using 3D Pens to Create Objects and Structures
Fifth grade students in Laura Wetzel's science class are preparing for the annual “Sphero Olympics,” a robotic competition held in the spring to conclude their unit of study on robotics. 

Students are currently taking a course and are using the Sphero Edu app to learn block coding and JavaScript to code robots. “The online course allows students studying at home, as well as those on campus, to develop the same skills and advance at their own pace,” Wetzel said.

She is also teaching the basics of how to create using a 3D pen - including safe use, how to draw, what types of plastics to use, which temperatures work best, etc. Students are encouraged to doodle and create objects and structures. “We are comparing what we create to things that can be created using a 3D printer,” she explained. “As we are learning to code and use software, it is also important for them to understand how to create in 3D before using a computer to make it.”

Students have been creating cubes, houses, a golf ball, guitar, mask, sea turtle, bunny, dodechedron, the Eiffel Tower and glasses so far. “The possibilities are endless,” she said.