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Calm Down Robot
Lab 2 - Calm Down Code

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Implementing VEX 123 STEM Labs

STEM Labs are designed to be the online teacher’s manual for VEX 123. Like a printed teacher’s manual, the teacher-facing content of the STEM Labs provides all of the resources, materials, and information needed to be able to plan, teach, and assess with VEX 123. The Lab Image Slideshows are the student-facing companion to this material. For more detailed information about how to implement a STEM Lab in your classroom, see the Implementing VEX 123 STEM Labs article.

Goals and Standards


Students will apply

  • How to create a project to act out a calm down strategy using the behaviors of the 123 Robot.

Students will make meaning of

  • How identifying describing and practicing calm-down strategies can support the development of self-regulation.
  • How feelings can be communicated through actions, and those actions can be represented by robot behaviors.

Students will be skilled at

  • Pushing to wake the 123 Robot.
  • Connecting the Coder to the 123 Robot.
  • Using Coder cards to plan a project.
  • Sequencing Coder cards in a project.
  • Inserting and removing Coder cards from the Coder.
  • Creating a project to express a calm down strategy through robot behaviors.

Students will know

  • That people can use behavioral strategies to help them calm down when experiencing strong emotions.
  • How to create a project that represents human actions with the behaviors of the 123 Robot.



  1. Students will identify strategies for calming down and plan and test a project that has the 123 Robot perform a sequence of behaviors that represent those strategies.
  2. Students will communicate clearly about human actions associated with emotions, and how they connect to robot behaviors. 


  1. During the Engage section, students will identify strategies they can use to get their behavior under control when they are feeling strong emotions. In Play Part 1, students will use Coder cards to create a project representing one of those strategies. In Play Part 2, student will create more complex “Calm Down Codes” by sequencing multiple robot behaviors together.
  2. During the Engage section, students discuss which Coder cards could be used to represent human calm-down strategies with robot behaviors.  During Play, students will discuss the reasoning behind their coding choices with their small groups as they create their “Calm Down Code” projects.


  1. In Share, students will share their projects, name the calm-down strategies they chose to represent, and explain why they chose particular Coder cards to represent them. In the Play sections, students will be able to successfully code the 123 Robot to represent those strategies.
  2. During the Share section, students will share their “Calm Down Codes” and discuss the reasons for their choices. They will model how they would use their “Calm Down Codes to help themselves calm down alongside their robot.

Connections to Standards