Salmon Spheros


Salmon Spheros


Using coding as a tool to study salmon ecosystems


Presentation Type



  • Block Coding: Allows users to create a program by dragging and dropping block of code.
  • Drone or UAV (unarmed aerial vehicle): A flying robot that can be controlled by a remote control or by coding
  • Ecosystem: a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment
  • Ecology: the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings
  • Estuary: A mixture of freshwater and saltwater. This is where the river meets the sea.

Target Audience Minimum Age

Target Audience Maximum Age

Duration in Minutes

Event Type

Salmon Festival


Students will: 1) use block code to program robots, move them in a mock stream from point A to point B, and be able to reiterate how coding robots could lead to a profession as an ecologist who studies salmon habitat.

Life Skills

Career Fields

Tech Level

Materials/Costs in $


  1. Explain salmon migration and barriers they may come across. Tell them they are going to be coding robots because some robots are used to study salmon habitat.
  2. Demonstrate how to use Sphero (aim, speed, heading, seconds) by coding it to roll forward and then back with the roll command.
  3. Have the students use the roll commands to make the Sphero move down the mock river from point A to point B, pretending that the spheros are salmon trying to migrate to their breeding habitat.
  4. Reiterate to them that they are using the robots because they are practicing coding like ecologist use when flying drones over salmon habitat.


Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment

Computer Science

1B-AP-10. Create Programs that include sequences, events, loops and conditions.

Make the connection from coding small robots to becoming an ecologist who studies salmon habitat with use of drones

Files & Other Media