Today I finalized the thank you letter and submitted photos for our fall classroom Sphero project on Donor’s Choose. Thanks to the generosity of our donors we now have THREE additional Sphero robotic balls to use in Makers Studio during STEM class. Here’s the letter I submitted to our donors along with six photographs. If you’re interested in using Donor’s Choose to obtain equipment, supplies, or other resources (including field trip support) for your classroom, I highly recommend last year’s Classroom 2.0 Live webinars that are filled with helpful tips.

Thank you SO much for helping our STEM classroom purchase additional Sphero Robotic balls to use in our lessons and after-school Makers Club! The addition of these Spheros has had a tremendous impact on the 600 4th and 5th grade students I teach in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math class.

We use a “Maker Studio” instructional model in STEM class, and thanks to your donation, Sphero has become one of the five stations in Maker Studio. Students select a Maker Studio station for a series of four lessons, and Sphero has been one of the most popular that is always full in each class. Students have learned how to navigate the Spheros through mazes they have built with wooden blocks. They have also developed their computational thinking skills as they learn to “orient” the Sphero and move it according to input instructions they create on a classroom iPad.

We could not have afforded to purchase these additional Sphero robotic balls without your assistance. Because the battery life of a Sphero is about half a day when my students are using them, it’s vital we have more than one. I had purchased one Sphero with my own money this summer, and before we received your generously donated Spheros it would always run out of battery power before my last two classes had a chance to use it. Now I’m able to keep two Spheros in reserve for afternoon classes to use, and use the other two in the morning. Students are able to have a positive experience and learn a great deal in this Maker Studio station thanks to your generosity!

We have also loved using the Spheros in our after-school Maker’s Club. This is a special after-school opportunity for female and male students who have special interest in STEM and Maker Education to work on different kinds of hands-on projects. Many of my students do not have access to high-tech things like Sphero robotic balls at home, so it’s huge for them to be able to learn, play, and create with them at school.

You can see more of our Maker’s Club activities, including our use of Spheros, on:

We recorded and published a short video of some Sphero races we had in November 2014 at Maker’s Club:

More information about how we are using the Spheros in Makers Studio is available on:

Again, thanks SO MUCH for your generosity! You’ve made a positive difference in the lives and education of 600 elementary students in Yukon, Oklahoma, and we appreciate you!

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