St Meryl (Watford) have successfully applied for 12 Sphero Sprk+ Programmer Robots which are tennis-ball-sized robots which can be programmed and controlled from your smartphone or tablet. They can be driven around obstacles or apps used to learn programming and coding for robotics. As Caron Plein explained in her application:
"It is a hands-on tool that introduces pupils to robotics and coding, plus a lot of other STEAM activities. There are 3 programming levels available, enabling pupils across the school to use it, and to continue to build skill levels over time. It can be controlled from a tablet, and is waterproof, shock proof and scratch-resistant making it a product which will serve the pupils well over many years."
We particularly liked the fact that, with 12 robots, a whole class can be involved simultaneously, working in groups to develop, test and improve their programming. Caron strengthened her bid by explaining that they already had ipads in school ready to run the apps and that all children will get maximum benefit from the robots because:
“We will build these sessions both into schemes of work as well as our extra-curricular timetable offerings to ensure maximum use and benefit is obtained.
We will use an after school staff meeting (these take place once a week) to give training to all the teachers on using the robots in their lessons. This training will be carried out in house and will add no additional costs to the project.”