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Blueprint FAQsUpdated 2 months ago

Why Blueprint? 

We need to prepare students for the future and the future needs engineers. At the same time, the engineering challenges of the future are complex. Diverse teams with diverse sets of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills are essential to finding the most innovative solutions. Yet, to our detriment, there are many groups of people who continue to be underrepresented in engineering occupations.

Blueprint can help make engineering engaging and accessible to all, attracting more students to engineering Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways and encouraging them to stick with it through graduation.

Blueprint is designed for middle and high school aged students in engineering and STEM classrooms and maker spaces. Blueprint is made to be accessible and easy to use, especially for students who lack experience and/or confidence in STEM subjects. 

Can Blueprint be used with younger students?

While Blueprint is not designed for younger students, it can be used with younger students at a teacher’s own discretion. However, Sphero does not provide content or support for classrooms outside of middle and high school. 

What is included in a Blueprint Build Kit?

The Blueprint Build Kit contains over 330 mechanical parts, a Quick Start Guide, five Engineering Challenge Cards, and a storage bin. 

What is included in a Blueprint Build Class Pack?

The Blueprint Build Class Pack includes five Blueprint Build Kits, plus additional parts, an extra storage bin, and a comprehensive Educator Guide. 

What kinds of lessons are available for Blueprint?

The Blueprint Build Kit is designed to teach mechanical engineering fundamentals. At launch, the Blueprint Build Kit contains two unit plans, with over 50 hours of standards-aligned lesson plans. Lessons come with a teacher guide, lesson slides, student handouts, and build instructions. Unit plans and lessons can be found here

How many students does Blueprint Build support?

One Blueprint Build Kit supports two to three students. Students working independently will miss out on the collaborative aspects of the engineering design process. Students working in groups larger than three will have fewer opportunities for hands-on building.

Does Blueprint align with educational standards?

The Sphero Blueprint Engineering Design Process adheres closely to the eight Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) identified in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The SEPs are essential for helping our students “investigate the world and design and build systems.” Additionally, working through engineering problems with Blueprint aligns with NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) for Engineering Design.

Blueprint lessons are also aligned to the Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL). These standards were developed by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) to elevate engineering instruction and promote knowing, thinking, and doing over the learning of discrete facts.

Does Blueprint contain any electronic components?

The Blueprint Build Kit contains mechanical parts only. However, Blueprint Build sets the foundation for an ecosystem of additional mechanical, electrical, and programmable pieces that will join the Blueprint product line in the future. 

If electrical pieces are coming in the future, should I hold off on buying a Blueprint Build kit?

The Blueprint Build Kit is a standalone product with abundant standalone content. However, it is also designed to be modular, allowing for easy integration of additional Blueprint pieces and components as they become available.

Can Blueprint be used to introduce and teach CAD in schools?

Yes, Blueprint Build Kit supports CAD curriculums with SolidWorks, Onshape, and STEP files, allowing students to develop CAD skills alongside their engineering and robotics skills by creating detailed assemblies of Blueprint parts and creating their own custom pieces that can easily attach to their favorite Blueprint builds. Files can be found here

What are best practices for using the parts?

Blueprint parts were designed for durability, to withstand rigorous use in the classroom. Parts can be flexibly used to meet the requirements of different build types and purposes. See this page in the Educator Guide for an overview of key building practices with each part. Additionally, all lessons and build instructions provide guidance on best practices for each part’s use. If you have any questions about specific Blueprint parts, take a look at our Blueprintopedia where you can find helpful tips & tricks that will come in handy as you prototype.

Does Blueprint have any online resources or support?

Yes, check out the Blueprint Resource Page to learn more about how Blueprint Build works and get started in the classroom right away.

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