How Sphero supports our STEM mission

At Microsoft we are committed to empowering every student on the planet to achieve their full potential. Part of that commitment includes reflecting on how we and our partners can support the students of today and help them be future-ready. After all, research shows 77 percent of jobs will require technology skills in less than a decade.  

When we talk about STEM, we often talk about our amazing portfolio of products, including Minecraft: Education Edition, Microsoft MakeCode, Microsoft Hacking STEM, Microsoft Mixed Reality and many others, but today I wanted to focus on Sphero, who have just released a new app to the Microsoft Store for Education.

Sphero supports our mission by providing a STEM learning experience, coupled with excellent educator professional development and a fully immersive experience with differentiated tools. These help promote key 21st century learning goals like creativity, collaboration, computational thinking, and problem solving. 

While coding and 21st century skills are necessary, Sphero Edu also goes beyond code. It incorporates robotics and technology with collaborative STEAM activities, which span across programming, constructionism, design and science (to name a few) to nurture students’ imaginations. Through creative activities, students can learn to program their robots while nurturing their cognitive skills and independent exploration.  

Sphero Edu was built for learner progression. It’s approachable for beginners of all ages, yet sophisticated enough for seasoned programmers. Sphero’s products are accompanied with an app platform, which provides scaffolded learning activities, lesson plans and games. In the app, beginners can draw paths that represent code for their robot to follow, intermediate coders can utilize the Scratch block-based programming interface, and pros can use JavaScript and write text programs. 

“Across the globe, Sphero robots are in more than 20,000 schools and we are committed to putting more robots into the hands of students. We hear from kids that it’s their best day at school,”  says Adam Wilson, founder, Sphero. “We see kids who have no interest in math or science get excited about learning. Maybe they won’t end up becoming engineers or programmers, but the knowledge builds their confidence and gives them a skill set to enter into modern workspaces, which are reliant on technology,” Adam says.

Sphero’s robots aren’t just being used to teach math and programming; teachers have also helped create language arts lessons covering iconic stories like The Grapes of Wrath and more contemporary books, like The Martian.

To learn more about Sphero, visit the Microsoft Store for Education.