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This unit should be implemented to supplement student learning on the concepts of the basic features and functions of robots.

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 combine Play Parts 1 and 2 into a single activity, read the Meet Your Robot story in Lab 1 and document the 123 Robot features on the class Features Chart while reading.
    • In Lab 1, replace the creation of a Wonder Board from the Share section by keeping notes of your students’ questions and wonderings while teaching the Engage and Play sections of the Lab.
    • In Lab 2, combine Play Parts 1 and 2 into a single activity by asking students “What if…” scenarios as prompts to help create your robot rules. Use the scenarios in the Mid-Play Break for reference.
  • Activities to support reteaching:
    • To help students gain familiarity with the 123 Robot, give students access to the Meet Your Robot story, and let them practice the steps to code the 123 Robot: push to wake, touch to code, and shake to erase.
    • For students who need more practice remembering their robot rules, have them draw or write out their own version of the class robot rules from Lab 2 on a sheet of paper. What pictures or descriptions will help them remember each rule?
  • Extending this Unit:
    • Use the ‘Try’ activities in the Teacher Guide for Meet Your Robot Story (Google Doc / .pptx / .pdf) to help students learn the features of the 123 Robot. These can be done as whole class activities or by students in smaller groups.
    • Use activities from the Choice Board to let students further their understanding of robotics and apply what they have learned about the 123 Robot and the class robot rules. 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.