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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 and start projects using the 123 Robot, the Coder and coding cards.

Students will make meaning of

  • How symbols represent actions or behaviors in programming languages. For example, how the arrow symbol on the 123 Robot and the number 1 on the Coder card represent one movement of the robot.

Students will be skilled at

  • Identifying behaviors using symbols on the Coder cards.
  • Waking up the 123 Robot.
  • Connecting the 123 Robot to the Coder.
  • Inserting Coder cards into the Coder to code behaviors for the 123 Robot.
  • Starting a project on the Coder. 

Students will know

  • One Coder card represents one behavior for the 123 Robot.
  • How symbols on the Coder cards represent a behavior for the 123 Robot.
  • How to create a project using Coder cards and the 123 Robot.



  1. Students will explain how symbols on the Coder cards represent behaviors for the 123 Robot.
  2. Students will demonstrate how to use various Coder cards to build a project to make the 123 Robot dance.


  1. In Engage, students will discuss their predictions about the behaviors of the 123 Robot, by analyzing the symbols that represent commands on the Coder cards.
  2. In Play Part 1, students will demonstrate how to use Coder cards to build a project to make the 123 Robot dance, with the teacher. In Play Part 2, students will work in small groups and create their own 123 Robot dance using different Coder cards.


  1. Students will explain how the behaviors of their 123 Robot connected to the Coder cards that they used, during the Mid-Play Break.
  2. During the Share portion, students will demonstrate their 123 Robot's dance for the class, and describe the behaviors of the 123 Robot as it moves.

Connections to Standards