Show off your coding skills AND make the world a better place!


This is the decade of action. The United Nations urges this current generation to end extreme poverty, win the race against climate change and conquer injustice and gender inequality. But how do people take action when many are working and learning from home? How can individuals put the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to work during this global pandemic?

SAS is partnering with Sphero on a virtual coding challenge to help students learn how to make a meaningful impact on the world around them.

Students can participate in the #ShowWithCode2020 challenge by showing their coding skills and how they support the SDGs. They will create an obstacle course that highlights actions they can take to make these goals a reality. Will they take shorter showers to conserve water; reduce food waste; turn off lights when not in use; collect books to donate; or strive for good well-being by selecting healthy snacks?

Consider Global Goal 13: Climate Action. The world is experiencing the effects of climate change -- greenhouse gas emissions are at record levels; sea levels have risen 7 inches over the last 100 years and the global surface temperature is increasing. The good news is that individuals can make changes necessary to protect the planet.

Using GG13 as an example for the challenge, individuals can determine ways to support that goal and create a course by setting out images or labels of things they can do to make a difference: unplugging electronics when not in use, taking re-useable bags to the store, recycling, planting a tree and opting not to use plastic bottles. They would then use the CodeSnaps app to write code, which would navigate a Sphero robot (BOLT, SPRK+, Mini, or Ollie) through their course.

Here's how to participate in the #ShowWithCode2020 Challenge  

The #ShowWithCode2020 challenge runs from October 1 – December 13, culminating with Computer Science Education Week. Teachers can add this challenge to their Hour of Code events. Are you ready to take action 

  1. Go to GatherIQ, explore the Global Goals and identifwhat you can do to support a goal.  
  2. Create a course highlighting how you’ll take actionRemember to include a start and finish.  
  3. Use CodeSnaps to write a program, in code, that will direct a Sphero robot through your course. New to CodeSnaps? Check out these videos. 
  4. Run the code and watch the robot navigate through the course. Be sure to record the robot completing the course 
  5. Share the video on Twitter and include #ShowWithCode2020 and your grade level. If you'd like, you can also tag @GatherIQ@SASsoftware#Sphero, #Contest and #BeyondCode (if you're not on Twitter, drop your video link here).  

We’re looking for creativity, so level up your course by adding music, a narrative or perhaps, props! The top entry per grade band (K-3, 4-6, 7 or above) will receive a SAS/Sphero prize pack 

We’ll be posting updatestips and the winners on #ShowWithCode2020 so, follow along. Winners will also be announced on December 21 via updates to this blog post and on Twitter – and they’ll receive their prize packs in early January 2021. Encourage your students to go save the world with code! 

*The #ShowWithCode2020 challenge is open to all US and Canada residents. You must be 18 years and older to enter. See Official Rules for more information. 


About Author

Mimi Stapleton

Product Manager

Mimi is a Senior Product Manager for Social Innovation at SAS promoting a data literate future. She supports employee outreach that highlights Data for Good, AI for Good, the UN's Global Goals and K-12 education initiatives.

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