Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2018-2019

Submitted by: Rebekka Stasny Email: Grade Level: 7/8 Subject: Science
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: Rowlett Middle Academy Type: Charter Grade Levels:6-8 County:Manatee

Approx. Enrollment: 500 Number of teachers:40

School Address:


Phone: 9414624001 Principal:Jamara Clark Email:

Project Title: SPRK+ing students' iiginations in science with Sphero robots
Project Dates: November 2-June 2108 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :Science- Language Arts- STEAM - coding/robotics

I would like to purchase a set of Sphero SPRK+ robots. Actually, SPRK+ are more than just robots — they are curiosity, creativity and invention machines. These little palm-sized teaching tools will allow my students to learn programming — through drawing, blocks and Java Script — complete hands on activities, share their projects through the SpheroEdu community and online blogs while incorporating the 5 Cs of 21st century learners – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship and creativity.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
Sphero SPRK+ robotos are incredibly versatile and will be a perfect fit to my STEAM, project-based learning and personalized learning environment – my science classroom.  These easy to use learning machines will also foster a love of robotics, coding and STEAM in my science classroom. Students will be able to use complex variables, sensors and text programming to learn the foundations of JavaScript while supplementing what they are learning in science and language arts classes. In addition to programming the SPRK+, students will be able to design and 3D print accessories to go along with lessons they create. Using TinkerCad and our Lulzbot mini 3D printer, students will be able to design chariots, boats, ramps, wheels, cycles, and drawing apparatus – again these accessories are only limited by my students wild imiginations.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
This project will encourage class discussions, creative and critical thinking skills and the application of student learning to solve real world problems. This project will help reinforce standards that are taught in science throughout the year. As students learn about the design and production process, students will mimic the process and thinking skills of real world scientists and engineers (SC.7.N.1.1) This is important for students to participate in forms of scientific investigation other than experiments to understand that not all scientific knowledges is derived from experimentation (SC.7.N.1.3) Students will be able to identify the benefits and limitations of the use of scientific models (SC.7.N.3.2) and describe the methods used in the pursuit of a scientific explanation as seen in different fields of science such as biology, geology and physics. (SC.7.N.1.5) Throughout this project, students will blog about their learning in online journals which will help with their literacy and writing skills. In collaboration with the English Language Arts department, students will show mastery in the following Language Arts standards: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. (LAFS.6.RI.3.7) Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (LAFS.6.W.1.3) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (LAFS.6.W.2.4) With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (LAFS.6.W.2.5) Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting. (LAFS.6.W.2.6)

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
This project embraces the 5C's of 21st century learners - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship and creativity and will encourage students to move beyond the basics will make learning come to life and emulate what the world will be like when they are out of school. These robots will allow me to teach differently - I will be able to create lessons that have real-world applications while students will be able to learn science concepts while embracing their critical thinking and creativity. I hope to use these lessons and activities to encourage other teachers at my school to create lessons that embrace technology and the 5 Cs. I also hope this project encourages students to take more ownership in their learning and will allow them to create programs to teach others science concepts that we cover in 7th and 8th grade science. I also hope that this project will allow students to see how science and language arts are connected and the importance of sharing their learning to the outside community.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
I will use this technology to help teach science standards in a way my students have never experienced before. Students will learn science standards through programming the robots to show their understanding of the science standards and science topics. For instance, when we are learning about ecosystems, students will be able to program their robots to mimic an organism that lives in a particular area complete with sounds, actions and even coloration. When we are learning about physics - force and motion - instead of completing a worksheet about the speed of an object affect its velocity, acceleration, force, and kinetic energy, students will be able to use the Spheros to complete experiments and collect data to find the time it takes a Sphero to travel 10 meters at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of its maximum speed. Using the data collected from experiments, students will be able to calculate final velocity, acceleration, force, and kinetic energy. Then, students will be able to graph their data and make conclusions using their data collected during their experimentation. Students will also be able to use the classroom 3D printer and Tinkercad program to design and print accessories to use with the Spheros. Students will be able to design and build ramps, chariots, drawing apparatus - you name it...if they can come up with an idea, they will be able to design and print it and then use it during our Sphero lessons.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
Through pre and post-assessments, class discussions, completed graphic organizers and self-reflections, I will assess our student’s understanding of the science standards covered in class while using the SPRK+ robots and lessons from Sphero Edu. Through completion of these activities, students will establish deeper critical thinking by allowing them to become engineers, architects, and designers through hands-on application of programming. Throughout the activities, students will blog where they will log their learning in both journal entries and sketches, which will help with their literacy skills. Students will also write reflections based on 3 questions - What did you accomplish? What did you learn? How did it make you feel? I plan to measure student success by reviewing student blogs and hosting class discussions to see where students were successful in their programs and where they had difficulties. Through a variety of summative and formative assessments I will monitor student learning and will adjust lessons to ensure student mastery of project objectives. I would like to have 70% of our students complete their own programming activity based on our science standards of their choosing.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
I would like to have completed blogs by the spring Science Night which will be open for school and community viewing. Student programs and blogs would be displayed for the entire school and local community to view and hopefully encourage more students to become programmers, makers, inventors, artisans and engineers. Students will share their learning with the Spheros on our class website They also will share their programs on Spheros online learning community at


Service/ Item Description Cost
Education Pack - Sphero SPRK+x 12 x2 2399.96
Sphero Nubby Cover - Education x24 @ 14.99 each 259.76
Total Cost of Project 2759.72
If matching funds identified list source:
Donated Goods/Services:

I, Rebekka Stasny, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Jamara Clark,the Principal of Rowlett Middle Academy and any other individuals required by my school district.