NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Yorker writer D.T Max visited The Academy of Our Lady of Peace this spring to research a story he was writing on the infiltration into the classroom of an orb shaped teaching tool for computer coding, called “Sphero.”
Sphero is a spherical robot, launched in 2011, which can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet. “Students have begun using them to learn everything from geometry to genetics," said Max. "They can code them, too, to take a first step into computer programming."
Max describes meeting a fifth and sixth grader at the academy who were trying to put Sphero through its paces in an obstacle course, of their own making, through the halls of OLP. The two students were navigating the robotic sphere using computer coding on their ipads. The staff at the Academy of OLP expressed how honored they were to have been one of the schools visited by The New Yorker.
An excerpt from D.T Max’s article, “A Whole New Ball Game” from their May 16 issue: "As I watched children play with Spheros and other robotic toys, the debate over STEM seemed obsolete. The question of whether to integrate the digital more fully into children’s lives has already been decided, and not just because so much time outside school is spent in front of screens. For many kids, the boundary between analog and digital no longer exists. Adults like to make distinctions; childhood is lived as a continuum."