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Pacing Guide

This unit should be implemented to supplement student learning on the concepts of coding and sequencing.

STEM Labs can be adapted in various ways to fit into any classroom or learning environment. Each STEM Lab includes the following 3 sections: Engage, Play, and Share (optional).

Each STEM Lab in this unit can be completed in as little as 40 minutes

Section Summary

The Engage and Play sections, which contain the primary learning activities, can be completed within 40 minutes. The Share section, which enables students to express their learning is optional, but estimated at around 3-5 minutes per group.

Click on the tabs below to view descriptions of the Engage, Play and Share sections of the STEM Lab.

The Pacing Guide

The pacing guide for each Lab provides step-by-step instructions on What, How, and When to teach. The STEM Lab Pacing Guide previews the concepts that are taught in each section (Engage, Play, and Share (optional)), explains how the section is delivered, and identifies all the materials that are needed.

The pacing guide contains the following information:


Provides the approximate time duration of each section of the Lab.


Provides an overview of what students will do in each Lab.


Lists the materials that are essential to completing the Lab.

Adapting this Unit to Your Classroom

Not every classroom is the same, and teachers face a variety of implementation challenges throughout the year. While each VEX 123 STEM Lab follows a predictable format, there are things that you can do in this Unit to help make it easier to meet those challenges when they arise.

  • Implementing in less time:
    • To shorten Lab 1, have the entire class come up with a robot dance project together in Play Part 2. This will also eliminate the need for the Active Share in Lab 1.
    • In Lab 2, complete Play Part 2 as a whole class, teacher-led demonstration. Your students will become the ‘teacher’ and guide you through the steps to create a project to drive to the treasure. This will cut down time from having groups independently making their treasure maps and creating the projects. Ask students questions from the Metacognition-Reflecting Together category of the Share section to quickly debrief after the activity.
  • Activities to support reteaching: For students who need more practice sequencing or connecting the symbols on the Coder cards to behaviors of the 123 Robot, use these 123 Activities in your learning center or with the whole class.
    • Peacock Party — Students will create a Coder project to make their 123 Robot peacock dance using Motion and Looks Coder cards.
    • Move Around — Students will make a project using Coder cards for the 123 Robot to drive around obstacles on a Tile. They will need to correctly sequence the project to be successful.
  • Extending this Unit:
    • For an emphasis on sequencing, have students continue to rearrange their treasure maps and create projects to drive from the starting location to the treasure. Begin by having groups change the location of the treasure and one obstacle. Each time the map changes, it becomes an entirely new challenge for the students!
    • Use activities from the Choice Board to to give students additional practice coding the 123 Robot with the Coder and sequencing. Students can express their voice and choice and choose an activity on their own, or you can assign activities for the whole class or individual students to complete.