Mr. Sitar Teaches Programming, Technology, Critical Thinking, and Cooperation through “Spheros”

“Spheros are a way to teach programming, technology, critical thinking, and cooperation in a fun and exciting way,” said Mr.Sitar about the Spheros class he created and teaches during the 2019 Summer Enrichment Program in Van Buren Elementary. 

During the traditional school year Mr.Sitar is a fourth grade teacher at Travis Ranch Elementary. His goal for this 2019 Summer Enrichment class was to teach students  some basic programming, help them build friendships, and have a fun time throughout the learning process.

Spheros are  spherical robots controlled by many electronic devices, such as Ipads and Chromebooks. They can be operated by coding or driving them in the electronic device. Although Mr. Sitar’s class has only used the Sphero Spark Plus model, there are many more available for use, such as the Darkside, ollie, and R2-D2.

When asked what challenges he faced in creating this Sphero class, he stated,“Challenges I faced were figuring out different ways and likes to reach each student.”

He also added that his students tackled many challenging activities such as making the Sphero dance and programming it to travel around the school.

Sphero student Oscar statedthat he learned many new skills such as teamwork, coding, and trial and error. Also, he mentioned having fun working with his partner, Dylan, although Oscar claims Dylan hogged the computer occasionally. Lastly, he stated that Mr.Sitar is a very nice and kind teacher.

Another student, Curtis, enjoyed all the things that he did of the 2019 Summer Enrichment such as programing it to go around the school campus. Curtis also remarked that Mr.Sitar was a great teacher.

Student Payton expressed that her favorite part of the Sphero class was programming the Spheros to trace images on the floor, such as Pokemon and a banana. Additionally, she stated that Mr.Sitar is an amazing and great teacher.

When not teaching at Travis or at the PYLUSD Summer Enrichment Program,  Mr.Sitar is a very busy man. In his spare time, he likes to read, play trivia, travel, and hike. Nevertheless, he devoted himself to this year’s class, teaching his students to program the Sphero to dance, walk around the school campus, and perform a variety of other fun activities all while helping his students learn to code.