Northwestern Press

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
PRESS PHOTOS BY SUSAN BRYANTBrandon Poole, who is part of the Technology Support team and assisting computer teacher, Shannon Kistler throughout the programming phase of the Sphyro, observes Maxine Hoffman and Kiley Althouse as they drive their Sphyro in the hallway at the middle school. PRESS PHOTOS BY SUSAN BRYANTBrandon Poole, who is part of the Technology Support team and assisting computer teacher, Shannon Kistler throughout the programming phase of the Sphyro, observes Maxine Hoffman and Kiley Althouse as they drive their Sphyro in the hallway at the middle school.
Northwestern Middle School students Isaiah Johri, Jozef Berger, and Sebastian Conseco follow instructions on their Sphyro provided by their computer teacher Shannon Kistler. Northwestern Middle School students Isaiah Johri, Jozef Berger, and Sebastian Conseco follow instructions on their Sphyro provided by their computer teacher Shannon Kistler.
Samantha Sisco and Maxine Hoffman work together to alter their Sphyro program. Samantha Sisco and Maxine Hoffman work together to alter their Sphyro program.

Middle school students learn how to use Sphyro

Thursday, January 19, 2017 by LINDA DEIBERT Special to The Press in School

Northwestern Middle School received a grant to purchase MakerSpace, a program that uses different means of teaching computer programming, such as creating 3-D items, and programs to “drive” a computerized ball through the hallways of the school.

Eighth-grade students at the school were recently introduced to a new gadget called Sphyro, which is designed to teach students computer programming through the use of basic coding, commands, and how to use a loop and problem solving.

Computer teacher Shannon Kistler began by teaching them how to create a square after which they attempted to create a pentagon.

The students discovered that the pentagon was more difficult than a square, because they had to rewrite the program.

Once they had completed the programming they loaded their program on a ball.

Then the students tested their work by driving their device using a tablet.

The Sphyro is not only part of a Do-It-Yourself program that allows its user to create 3-D objects through the use of 3-D printers, electronics, but with LEGOs and more.

The school library has a wall that allows the students to work together to create things using the LEGOs.