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Moving Through a City
Lab 3 - Robot City Challenge

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Part 1 - Step by Step

  1. InstructInstruct students that they will be coding their 123 Robot to move through their classroom city.
    • Students will have to use forward, backward, and turning commands in order to navigate their 123 Robot. 
    • Students will connect their 123 Robot to their device, plan their project, use VEXcode 123 to code their 123 Robot, and then download and test their project. 
    • Before beginning, ensure each group has their device with VEXcode 123, their 123 Robot, and access to the classroom city.
    Navigate Your City
    Navigate Your City
  2. ModelModel for students how to connect their 123 Robot to their device and complete the project. Ensure students are following along.
    • Model using appropriate language to be used within their group when planning their project. Some examples could include, “the 123 Robot will have to move forward this far” or “the 123 Robot will have to turn this much once we get to the end of this road.” 
    • Show the commands that they will be using to code their 123 Robot. These commands include the Drive for (steps) block, Turn right block, Turn left block, and the When started block. 
    • Model for students how to use these commands in their project by sequencing them together. 
    • Then, once a sequence of code is created, show students the steps needed to download and run their project on their 123 Robot.
    Commands in VEXcode 123
    Commands in VEXcode 123
  3. FacilitateFacilitate a discussion as students are engaging in the activity by asking the following:
    • Can you show me using your hands how the 123 Robot will navigate the city?
    • When you were planning your code, how far did you think the 123 Robot needed to move? What made you think this?
    • What commands did you use in your code? Can you explain why you used them?
    • Would your 123 Robot move differently if you change the sequence of your commands? Why or why not?
    • Can you explain to me how the 123 Robot needs to face when it moves through the course? Does it need to turn left or right? Would those turns be different if it was facing a different direction?
    • Did you write something in your code that did not work out when you tested it? If so, how did you fix it?
    • What is the overall goal for the 123 Robot when the code is run? Where should the 123 Robot begin and end?
    Discuss the 123 Robot's Movement
    Discuss the 123 Robot's Movement
  4. RemindRemind students that their first attempt of their solution will not be correct or run properly the first time. Encourage multiple iterations and remind students that trial and error is a part of learning. Tell students that with each attempt, they are getting closer and closer to their solution. Ask students questions such as:
    • Did your code work the first time? If not, what do you think needs to change?
    • Did you check the sequence of your commands? Are they in the correct order?
    • What did you learn from testing your code?
  5. AskAsk students how developing the skills to build a city, and then navigate it, could be used in a real-life job. Facilitate a discussion by asking the following:
    • Have you ever wanted to be an engineer? 
    • How do you think planning and testing skills could help you to be an engineer?
    • Tell me about a time in your life when you had to plan something and then try it out?

Mid-Play Break & Group Discussion

As soon as every group has accomplished navigating their 123 Robot through the city, come together for a brief conversation.

  • Did your 123 Robot move as you wanted it to? Did you experience any challenges?
  • In our classroom city, what kinds of obstacles will our 123 Robot have? How can we problem solve through these?
  • What are some ideas for how we can edit our code in order to avoid obstacles?
  • Can you model with your hands how the 123 Robot will have to move in order to avoid obstacles?

Part 2 - Step by Step

  1. InstructInstruct students that they will be coding their 123 Robot to move through their built city again, but now it will have to avoid obstacles!
    • Students will have to use forward, backward, and turning commands in order to navigate their 123 Robot, while also avoiding obstacles along the road. 
    • Students will connect their 123 Robot to their device, plan their project, write their code using VEXcode 123, and then download and test their project. 
    • Before beginning, ensure each group has their device with VEXcode 123, their 123 Robot, and access to the classroom city. 
    • Before students begin, add new obstacles to the roads of the city. For example, add a ball of paper to the side of a road, so that the 123 Robot has to drive around it.
    Navigate Your City with Obstacles
    Navigate Your City with Obstacles
  2. ModelModel or students how to connect their 123 Robot to their device. Ensure students are following along and encourage vocabulary usage when describing the steps in creating their VEXcode 123 Project.
    • Model for students the language that should be used within their group when planning their project. Some examples could include, “the 123 Robot will have to move forward this far” or “the 123 Robot will have to stop and then turn to drive around this ball of paper.”
    • Show the commands that they will be using to code their 123 Robot. These commands include the Drive for (steps) block, Turn right block, Turn left block, and the When started block. Model for students how to use these commands in their project by sequencing them together. 
    • Show students how to edit their code from Play Part 1, so that they do not have to start over. They just need to move the VEXcode 123 blocks around, or add new blocks. 
    • Then, once a sequence of code is edited, show students the steps needed to download and run their project on their 123 Robot.
    Edit Your Code
    Edit Your Code
  3. FacilitateFacilitate a discussion as students are engaging in the activity by asking the following:
    • Can you show me using your hands how the 123 Robot will move around an obstacle?
    • What commands did you add to your code and why?
    • Did you include something in your code that did not work out when you tested it? If so, how did you fix it?
    • What is the overall goal for the 123 Robot when the code is run? Where should the 123 Robot begin and end?
    Discuss the 123 Robot's Movement
    Discuss the 123 Robot's Movement
  4. RemindRemind students that their first attempt of their solution will not be correct or run properly the first time. Encourage multiple iterations and remind students that trial and error is a part of learning. Tell students that with each attempt, they are getting closer and closer to their solution. Encourage students to use gestures to conceptually understand how the 123 Robot should move around an obstacle, before they begin coding. Ask students questions such as:
    • Did your code work the first time? If not, what do you think needs to change?
    • Do you think having to move around an obstacle is challenging? If so, why?
    • What did you learn from testing your code? Did you have to make improvements?
    • Proud of your project? Great! What would you like to do next?
  5. AskAsk students how developing the skills to solve problems could be used in a real-life job. Facilitate a discussion by asking the following:
    • Do you think problems will come up in real-life jobs that you have to fix? What skills do you think you would need to do this?
    • Did you ever plan for something and then it didn’t work out as you expected? How did you overcome that challenge?