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School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
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2017 Cmolik Prize Submission


Coding with Spheros Initiative

This website presents the School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) submission for the 2017 Cmolik Prize.  The school district, in conjunction with Finger Foods Studios, is nominating our Coding With Spheros initiative for the Cmolik Prize for the Enhancement of Public Education in B.C.



“I want to challenge myself and I thought that with Sphero I could do it… and I can!"   This quote from one of the first students involved in the initiative is testimony to the educational and social-emotional learning value and success of the Coding with Spheros initiative.  It is an innovative, first-of-its-kind program in B.C.’s K-12 education system, and perhaps nationwide. It was successfully implemented in School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) with support from Finger Food Studios, a local technology organization located in the school district’s region.

Coding with Spheros involves the use of a small spherical robot called Sphero SPRK and an immersive coding application that allows students to tell the Sphero what to do. Prior to Coding with Spheros the Sphero toy was available but it was not being used in B.C. schools for coding and technology based teaching and learning.

Not only does Coding with Spheros provide basic coding knowledge for students, an important skill in our technology-based society but even more vital for the jobs of the future, it also revolutionizes the teaching culture by putting an emphasis on students to take ownership of their learning. It empowers students to express creativity, encourages logical thinking and idea generation, builds confidence, and allows students to see their ideas and experiment outcomes in real-time before their eyes.

Coding with Spheros is scalable, can be integrated across many subjects, meets core competencies in the revised B.C. K-12 curriculum, and is easily replicated across schools and entire school districts.



Videos and Article Links

YouTube: SD43 - computer programming in a new way

YouTube: Challenge yourself to learn new things in new ways

YouTube: Learning to code with the Sphero SPRK

YouTube: SD43 LWB School Administrators Learn Sphero Coding

BC Gov News: $6 million to help connect students with coding,
new curriculum and computers

Vancouver Sun: Finger Food Studios donates time, talent and
dollars to bring coding to Coquitlam students





Nominee Team Members

Mr. David Sands
Principal of Technology Implementation, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

Mr. John Sarte
Teacher, Coquitlam Open Learning, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

Ms. Theresa Roberts
Vice Principal, Maillard Middle, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

Ms. Patricia Gartland
CEO and Superintendent, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

Mr. Ryan Peterson
CEO, Finger Foods Studios

Ms. Kelsey Bowman
Associate Creative Director, Finger Food Studios 



Mr. Carey Chute
Assistant Superintendent, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

Mr. Graham Cunliffe
Director of Business Affairs and Operations, Finger Food Studios


The Story in Photos


Initials planning meetings were held with key personnel from School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) and Finger Food Studios to develop the Coding with Spheros initiative.  Finger Food Studios provided SD43 with Sphero SPRK units as well as developed a unique app to control the units.


Sphero-Training.jpgSpheros and iPads.jpg 

Finger Food Studios worked alongside an initial group of key SD43 staff to train them on the usage of the Sphero and coding
applications while SD43 developed lesson plans directly connected to B.C.'s newly-revised curriculum for K-12 education.



SD43 administrators across the district are introduced to Sphero and coding at a district planning meeting.



Coding with Spheros is introduced to the first class and school in a structured, curriculum-aligned way for the first time in B.C. by SD43.



Train the trainers occur with teachers teaching other teachers to allow for replication and scaling to more classrooms and schools.


Sphero Maze 1.jpgSphero Maze 2.jpgSphero Maze 3.jpg 

Coding with Spheros is implemented in more SD43 classrooms through four pilot schools to further replicate and scale the initiative.


Sphero Zombie Tag.jpgSpheros Glow.jpg 

The Coding with Spheros initiative continues to scale up to impact thousands of students in many schools within SD43. Teachers  are developing adapted lesson plans for several subject areas and students are building their coding, creativity, logic and problem solving skills.

10/25/2016 3:14 PM

School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

550 Poirier St, Coquitlam BC
V3J 6A7
604-939-9201 604-939-7828