6th grade students completed my annual SPRK Ball Maze project, for which they drew out a maze on graph paper, created it in 3D on Makers Empire, scaled it up to life-size measurements, drew it using metric system measurements, then programmed the ball so that it would run on its own through the maze.
7th and 8th grade students completed our first ever SPRK Ball Medical Carrier project. In this, students were given the task of creating a carrier that can hold 5 Band-Aids and 2 paper towels that need to be "dropped off" in two "classrooms," which was drawn out on paper. Mrs. Daniel gave them a pseudocode of a scaled down version of the requested path, and it was their task to draw out the path, scale it up to the designated size, code their SPRK Ball, and make sure their SPRK Ball and Carrier can travel the designated distances. The catch? They could practice on the floor, but not on the actual Presentation Day track. This was to simulate how scientists and engineers prepare for space missions- they complete all calculations and test-runs, in hopes that their creations work when it's "Game Time" out in space. The understanding here for students is that they may encounter problems they hadn't considered or accounted for.