BOULDER, Colo., March 6, 2019 ‒ Sphero, the industry leader in robotics fused with STEAM learning, announced today a partnership with Space Center Houston, the Official Visitors Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, to engage students nationwide in a first-of-its-kind robotics challenge. The 2019 Sphero Robotics Mission invites students from across the U.S. to participate in a virtual Apollo 11 Moon Landing challenge, using their coding skills, teamwork and creativity. Student teams led by a teacher or faculty member will compete to be selected for a final, in-person challenge in August at Space Center Houston, where they will meet a NASA astronaut and test their moon rover. Registration opens today at sphero.com/roboticsmission.

“Igniting curiosity, discovery and creativity among students is always our mission,” said Melissa Gomez, Sphero vice president of education partnerships. “We’re thrilled to partner with Space Center Houston to show students that anything’s possible when they apply their coding skills and imagination. We can’t wait to see what our students come up with.”

Through the website, students receive a mission consisting of several challenges with varying levels of difficulty. Teams have one month to complete their mission by submitting their code, a video and a written section. A committee will judge submissions based the code challenge, creativity and writing.

“The nonprofit Space Center Houston is dedicated to inspiring future explorers,” said Daniel Newmyer, Space Center Houston’s vice president of education. “In this robotic challenge, we

want students to connect the dots, making the connection to real-world applications with authentic learning experiences.”

The culminating August event will take place in conjunction with one of Space Center Houston’s many events, marking the 50th anniversary of NASA’s historic Apollo 11 lunar mission. An estimated 530 million people watched the moment when Commander Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969. It’s fitting that selected student teams will represent a new generation by joining thousands of other explorers, scientists and astronauts to celebrate and experience the legacy of the lunar landing together.

The three final teams will also win Sphero’s newest product, RVR – a ready-to-drive, fully programmable and customizable robot with endless coding possibilities – so they can continue their journey to infinity and beyond code. Ideal for middle and high school students, this “go anywhere, do anything” robot takes STEAM to all-terrain, and will be available this fall.

For all Sphero products, educators and students can access the Sphero EDU app, which connects a vibrant, active community sharing thousands of tips, resources and STEAM activities to nurture students’ imaginations beyond code. Through innovative STEAM robots and high-quality teacher-to-teacher resources, Sphero is continuing its mission to reach more students and teachers to help kids build resiliency, critical thinking and knowledge for a technology-driven society.

To learn more about the 2019 Sphero Robotics Challenge and to register, visit sphero.com/roboticsmission. Follow Sphero on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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