Solar SPRK+ Unit Overview

Sphero SPRK+
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Intended Grade Level(s):
6-8
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will develop tools to use in the Engineering Design Process.
  2. Students will learn drag and drop programming with Sphero Edu (formerly Lightning Lab).
  3. Students will determine how series and parallel circuits affect voltage and current.
  4. Students will understand how to use photovoltaic sources to charge a SPRK+.
  5. Students will design a chariot to carry a photovoltaic power source for a SPRK+.
  6. Students will learn to program a SPRK+ ball and chariot through a maze.
Unit:
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Relevant Common Core Standard(s):
Files Associated with this Activity:
Description:

This unit incorporates basic programming knowledge and solar energy into an engineering design challenge using Sphero SPRK+ robots. The theme for this challenge centers on the idea of Mars rovers, and the challenges faced in space exploration, specifically remote control of exploration tools and the energy generation needed to power these devices. Students will engage in basic programming challenges with their SPRK+, engage in a debate about Mars exploration, investigate the basics of photovoltaics, design chariots for their SPRK+ robots to carry their photovoltaic cells, and navigate their robots to a charging pad where solar energy will regenerate battery power for their robots.

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
2-Volt, 500mA Solar Modules
Multimeter
Other Material(s) Used:
Sphero SPRK+, tablet or computer, micro USB to alligator clip test cable, 250W halogen work light, building materials for chariot