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Students working at a makerspace style table and creating prototypes with the Blueprint Build engineering kit for kids and teens.

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What does career and technical education look like in your school or district? Career and technical education (CTE) can be a game-changer for middle and high school students. CTE programs offer hands-on experience and teach practical skills students can apply in various situations. 

Today on the blog, I have a handful of resources to share with you from Sphero! Sphero Blueprint Build helps teach middle and high school students mechanical engineering concepts to apply in multiple contexts.

Career and Technical Education

I have been a fan of Sphero for about a decade now. From the round robots Sphero Mini and BOLT to the Sphero RVR+, they offer many engaging options for educators and students. So when they reached out this year to share Sphero Blueprint Build, I was very excited to learn more. 

One reason that career and technical education (CTE) is so compelling – and why I am excited Sphero is in this space – is the range of experiences it provides students. The benefits are massive, from early career exploration, where students can explore various fields, to the stepping stone it can provide to further academic pursuits. Sphero Blueprint Build delivers a way for students to experience hands-on mechanical engineering concepts through a CTE program.

Sphero Blueprint Build

If you haven’t seen Blueprint Build in action yet, the video below gives you a taste of what is possible. Blueprint Build is a modular system of easy-to-handle mechanical engineering parts. Designed for middle and high school students, it can teach diverse, scalable, and creative engineering concepts.

How does it work? 

Students snap together the modular parts to create a structure. The pieces also snap apart for quick and easy assembly and disassembly. With Blueprint Build, students can build structures that bend, twist, and slide, and explore gears and pulleys.

The ease of use of Blueprint Build is perfect for classes that participate in rapid prototyping. Students can participate in builds they can complete in a single class period. They can use screws and rope clamps to build all sorts of prototypes that are easy to move and change throughout the design process.

A female engineering student works on her Blueprint Build design in a makerspace style classroom.

Ready-to-Use CTE Resources

Regular readers of the blog know that I am always looking for ways to help teachers save time. Blueprint Build saves teachers valuable time in the classroom, particularly with their supporting resources. In addition to saving time with the quick and easy assembly and disassembly I mentioned earlier, teachers have access to resources that can help them make the most of Blueprint Build in a classroom setting.

With Blueprint Build, you can access an Educator Guide Book that includes Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL) standards-aligned curriculum. You’ll also receive Challenge Cards to try out with students that can help them become familiar with the engineering design process. There is also CAD Support for teachers with access to free OnShape documents and Solidworks and STEP files for CAD curriculum support.

The Sphero Blueprint Build Kit and Class Pack shown here is an easy engineering kit for kids & teens to get started learning about engineering concepts in the classroom.

There are three levels of lesson structure within the Blueprint Build resources. You can start with Level One – Foundation, and move to Level Two – Exploration, and finally Level Three – Creation. On this page, you can find some examples of lessons, including “Introducing the Pulley” and “Inclined Planes and the Egyptian Pyramids.”

Career and Technical Education with Blueprint Build

Ready to get started with Blueprint Build? Head to this page to learn more about bringing Blueprint Build to your school or district. With 320+ modular parts and 20+ guided builds per kit, you can immediately elevate the design and prototyping process in your career and technical education.

If you want to support students through experimentation, problem-solving, and play-based learning, Sphero has you covered. Learn more about Blueprint Build here!

About the Author:

Monica Burns

Headshot photo of Dr. Monica Burns.

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

This post was sponsored by Sphero. All opinions are my own.

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