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A Whole New Ball Game

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“Creative’, ‘inspiring’, ‘exciting’ and ‘fantastic’ were just some of the words our Year 5 girls used to describe their latest STEM challenge. The task? To use their coding skills to design and create an interactive board game inspired by their learning of Greek mythology.


This week, the students have been feverishly putting the finishing touches to their creations, before pitching concepts like Voyage to the Trident, Poseidon’s Ridge and Ozania’s Quest Through Time to Year 10 ‘Shark Tank’-style next week.


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Using Spheros (spherical balls controlled by a smartphone or tablet), the students have worked in groups of four to design, code and create their board games, brushing up on their geometry and computer programming skills along the way. Add in bucket-loads of glue and glitter, cardboard and crayons, and it is little wonder that this challenge has won over even the most reluctant coder!


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According to Year 5 teacher, Mrs Couter, it has encouraged students to think creatively and artistically, to reason and to problem solve. They have learned to build on one another’s ideas, resolve conflicting opinions and make the best use of each other’s skill set. And they’ve all had lots of fun in doing it.


For Claudia, Yasmin, Kate and Olivia, strategy and planning have been paramount in developing their game, Battle Against the Gods. They decided to perfect their coding before getting to grips with cardboard and popsicle sticks. As a result, their Sphero can nimbly navigate a complex maze and can even perform hairpin turns. Although the challenge has tested their patience and resilience, they’ve loved every minute of it.


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The Story of Sphercules draws on the respective talents of Ava, Elly, Alison and Nina. Ava is toying with the idea of becoming an engineer; Elly favours dancing and art; Alison likes fashion; and Nina may consider medicine. Their beautifully presented game, complete with galloping horses, cursive calligraphy and a 3-D mountain for Sphero to traverse, showcases their diverse skill-sets and interests.


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There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to new and as yet unimagined careers in STEM. These new roles will come with opportunities and challenges. If the passion, resilience and creativity displayed by our Year 5 girls in their approach to this task is any indication, our future is in safe hands.