Mary Welsh Elementary hosts 1st Annual Sphero Bot Smackdown

Mary Welsh Elementary hosts 1st Annual Sphero Bot Smackdown
Posted on 01/08/2018
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On Monday, December 11, Mary Welsh Elementary fourth grade students participated in the first annual Sphero Bot Smackdown against Belle Plaine fourth graders. Mrs. Capper and Mrs. Ritchie's fourth graders at Mary Welsh battled against Belle Plaine in events such as Sphero Bowling, Dash Soccer, Sphero Maze, Sphero Chariot Races, Sphero Golf Ball Challenge, and the Sphero Cone Obstacle. 
In these events, students used iPads to control two different kinds of robots. For some of the challenges they used Spheros, which are robots in the shape of a ball. For others, they used Dash, a programmable robot that is blue and has one eye. Students were able to officially compete in two events, but could try other events as they were available. 
Students also had the opportunity to create a "wearable" out of cardboard, pompoms, straws, and various other supplies. After they created something to wear, they were able to model their creation and have their picture taken in front of a green screen. Once edited, use of the green screen allows the students to put a background of their choice in the picture in place of the green screen. 
At the end of the competition, the top scorer in each event received a 3D printed award, designed by a Mary Welsh sixth grader. Awards were also given out for good sportsmanship. Gina Miller, Art/TAG teacher at Belle Plaine, who co-coordinated the event, created the overall trophy, which will serve as a travelling trophy between Williamsburg and Belle Plaine, residing between competitions at the school with the highest overall score. This season, Williamsburg will get to keep the trophy, coming in with a score just two-tenths of a point higher than Belle Plaine!
After the competition, everyone enjoyed a sack lunch together with their new friends. Another Smackdown is planned for the spring, with Belle Plaine hosting. New events will be created,  with challenges including more block-based programming whereas the students test their ability to write algorithms to get their robot from one point to another. 

Grant Wood AEA Digital Learning featured Williamsburg and Belle Plaine students in their latest video!  Check out the new


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