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Transforming a STEM Learning Experience: Sphero Enriches its Educational Platform for Teachers and Students

As a leading STEM learning company offering interactive robotics and STEM education kits, Sphero teaches young students to code at home and in virtual classrooms

EPAM’s Digital Learning Services team was engaged to both troubleshoot and enhance Sphero’s education platform: Sphero Edu. EPAM’s EdTech expertise allowed us to quickly dive in and update the platform with new functionality and a vastly improved user experience.

Key Challenges

In the Sphero Edu app, kids learn how to code by creating programs for their Sphero programmable robot. The platform is used by teachers to give assignments, monitor progress and structure the learning experience. Students engaged in homeschooling can also sign up for individual accounts.

Sphero did not have an internal team to maintain its large-scale platform, so EPAM was brought in to not only support the platform but also to add new features that end users wanted. The codebase was massive and complex, but EPAM engineers quickly moved to support the system in production, while attracting new educators and learners with more user-friendly features. 

Solution Highlights

EPAM’s goal was to tailor the platform to Sphero’s vision and make it truly easy to use both in class and at home by implementing the following:

  • Sophisticated new features for class and content management intended to improve the registration process as well as overall usability
  • A progress report tool that provides teachers with PDF reports that track students’ progress by defining required metrics
  • A notification feature that keeps users up-to-date on new releases or other significant changes to the platform
  • Bug fixes to optimize the platform for users and improve platform stability

The Results

As a result of EPAM’s work with Sphero, we were able to:

  • Quickly and successfully stabilize and optimize the SpheroEdu platform and enrich it with new functionality
  • Increase usage within just three months, suggesting that users are finding value more easily
  • Increase the number of classes created with multiple students by 39%
  • Increase the number of assignments added to classes by 21%

Technologies used

  • Front End Technologies:Python 2.7
  • Django
  • Django Rest Framework
  • ReactJS
  • Docker
  •  PostgreSQL
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • SCSS
  • Webpack
  • Back End Technologies: Python
  • Django
  • Celery
  • Nginx
  • Elasticsearch
  •  JS
  • React
  • AWS
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Without an internal team to maintain a large and complicated code base, I was worried that we would not be able to maintain Sphero Edu. EPAM quickly demonstrated they could not only support Sphero Edu, but also enhance it.

Brian Kellner
VP, Software, Sphero