Pioneer Alternative High School students program robots to rescue a Martian

students programing bots

The staff at Pioneer Alternative High School along with CCSD technology department teamed up to bring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to the students through the use of robotic Spheros. These Spheros are baseball-sized plastic spheres with computerized innards that can be programmed to maneuver them in complex patterns. Small groups of students spent three days learning how to drive, design, program, collaborate and create with their Spheros. They competed in activities such as:  Battle Bots, Phase 4, and created a miniature golf hole to learn the skills necessary to do their final project.  Their final project, Martian Rescue, required the students to apply their learned skills to rescue a Martian on Mars. Operating in larger groups, the students had to assess their skills and decide how they were going to divide up their tasks in order to utilize their teams’ abilities to finish the task. One group in particular, blended and worked swiftly and was able to rescue the Martian even when the activity seemed incredibly frustrating. Myla Taitano, a senior, said “It helped me connect with other people who I wouldn’t normally connect with. I looked forward to it each day.”

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