Tech leaders hope to inspire 4th-8th grade students to play while learning computer programming skills

BOULDER, Colo., September 20, 2018 ‒ Sphero, the technology company utilizing play as a powerful teacher, today announced a partnership with a new Facebook-led initiative, CodeFWD, to expand education and discovery around computer programming in the United States. Sphero’s leading educational department, Sphero Edu, will spearhead this initiative with its most-advanced robot, the Sphero BOLT, which launched earlier this month. Together, Sphero Edu and CodeFWD will expand access and participation in computer programming for underrepresented students, including Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American and female audiences so the next generation of tech innovators can incorporate diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all.

Through this partnership, Sphero Edu and Facebook will provide a complimentary Sphero BOLT Power Pack to a select number of applicants through the CodeFWD by Facebook program, a free online program for educators and organizations that uses videos and other activities to inspire interest in computer programming for 4th-8th grade students in the US. Educators and organizations must complete all three steps of CodeFWD by Facebook in order to be eligible to apply for a free Sphero BOLT Power Pack. The Sphero BOLT Power Pack consists of 15 Sphero BOLT app-enabled robots as well as accessories designed to make it easy to bring Sphero BOLT into any school or maker environment. Making the educator experience extremely seamless, the Sphero BOLT Power Pack charges all 15 Sphero BOLT robots simultaneously. The Sphero BOLT Power Pack is valued at $2,499.

“We have an incredible track record with schools across the globe that have already adapted Sphero into their classrooms to increase STEAM education,” said Melissa Gomez, senior director of education, Sphero. “We’re proud to be partnering with Facebook to bring more robots into hands of children, inspiring our future generations with new, engaging ways of learning.”

“Diverse perspectives in computer programming will change the way people interact and innovate, ultimately building a future that benefits us all,” said Maya Carter, program manager of computer science education, Facebook. “We are excited to partner with Sphero to unlock the power of programming for the next generation of innovators and look forward to seeing what we build together.”

Building upon the Sphero’s suite of products rooted in a commitment to education, Sphero BOLT’s capabilities empower users to dive deeper into the world of STEAM learning. Sphero BOLT is accompanied by the Sphero Edu app. The app provides educators, parents and kids alike with an ecosystem to share curriculum, projects and learnings with ease, furthering Sphero’s mission to educate consumers through the act of play. Sphero BOLT comes to life through the existing Sphero Edu app for learning and coding on iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows and Chrome, as well as the new Sphero Play app for unique drive modes and games on iOS and Android.

To learn more about the Sphero Edu and CodeFWD by Facebook partnership, please visit http://sphero.com/codefwd. For more information about Sphero BOLT Powerpack, visit http://sphero.com/BOLT or follow Sphero on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

ABOUT SPHERO: Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, CO, Sphero’s ongoing mission is to inspire tomorrow’s creators. We’re available in 80+ countries around the globe and have sold more than three million robots to date… and counting. Touted as “the best day of school” for kids, we aim to be all that and more as we continue to explore new technologies in the realm of creative play. We firmly believe that play is a powerful teacher, and as long as we’re sparking imaginations around the world, we’ll keep fueling that fire.

ABOUT SPHERO EDU: Sphero Edu uses app-enabled robots to foster creativity through discovery and play, all while laying the foundation for computer science. The Sphero Edu program goes beyond code with collaborative STEAM activities, nurturing students’ imaginations in ways no other education program can. Cross-platform apps are approachable for all skill levels, allowing us to reach as many minds as possible. To date, the Sphero Edu team works with more than 30,000 educators, in more than 20,000 schools across the globe. More than 1.3 million students have been positively impacted through Sphero Edu and its work to educate kids surrounding technology and computer science. For more information, visit sphero.com/education or follow @SpheroEdu on Twitter.

ABOUT CODEFWD BY FACEBOOK: CodeFWD by Facebook is a free online program where educators and organizations — ie teachers and after school or non-profit staff — introduce computer science and basic coding principles to students through videos before students try coding through online activities. After completing three steps, facilitators who want to continue to develop their students’ coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a classroom set of robots from our partners at Sphero. The program is designed to expand access and participation in computer programming from underrepresented students in computer programming, including Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American and female audiences so the next generation of tech innovators can incorporate diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all. For more details, http://sphero.com/codefwd.

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