Your Stories - Isabella State School - QLD

students using sphero on obstacle course

CSER provided Isabella State School with a Sphero class kit in Term 2, 2019. The kit was used in Tinkerlab during lunchtimes with both the junior and senior school. We downloaded the Sphero Education app onto our class ipad set and, in the first few sessions, both senior and junior students explored the drive functionality.

Story by Justine Edward (Literacy Coach) and Mark Matthews (Digital Technologies Teacher) – Isabella State School

The next step was to use the direction cards which were discussed in lesson plans provided by CSER. Students enjoyed the challenge of sequencing the cards and having a partner use drive mode to complete the steps.

Students then explored the drawing function in the programs section of the app. This was terrific for younger students as they could easily program Sphero by drawing shapes, letters and patterns. Senior students quickly figured out that they could also incorporate light colour changes into the draw programs, which made for some very colourful programming.

The culminating challenge for the students was to design and create an obstacle course for Sphero from repurposed materials. These included cardboard tubes and boxes, plastic dividers from the library, paper cups, recycled plastic containers and rubber matting.

Senior students designed and built the obstacle courses in groups over a number of weeks. At various points of the design phase, the obstacle courses were tested by both junior and senior students and modified accordingly.

The final stage was to the paint the structures. The students’ came up with a range of imaginative scenes from off-road courses to futuristic city environments. Both junior and senior students then enjoyed navigating Sphero through the obstacle courses using both drive and draw programs.

The CSER class sphero kit enabled over 100 junior and senior students to collaborate on these these projects over the course of the term. Students were engaged in sequencing steps, visual programming (through the draw function) and repurposing found materials to create new objects. It was a wonderful experience filled with rich vocabulary and many opportunities for problem solving.

Thank you Justine, Mark and the students from Isabella State School for sharing your experiences with us! We love to see the creative ways that you have been using the CSER Lending Library kits. This initiative is possible through the support of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. If you would like to share your story please email us at

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