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Moving Through a City
Unit Applying VEX 123

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Applying VEX 123

Connection to VEX 123

Applying VEX 123

In the Moving Through a City Unit, students will use the 123 Robot to investigate how commands in VEXcode 123 connect to the concepts of motion and force. By connecting force and motion to real world examples like bridges and cities, students will be able to make personal connections with the concepts and their everyday lives.

As students progress throughout the Unit, they will also engage in the computer science concepts of behaviors and sequencing. Students will need to first identify how the 123 Robot follows a discrete set of instructions, in the form of commands, to perform certain behaviors in a particular order. They will connect those behaviors to their desired outcomes and plan their projects verbally to reach the goal in each Lab. In Lab 1, students problem solve how to get their 123 Robot to move across a bridge. Their combination of VEXcode 123 commands and their understanding of motion and force will allow students to successfully move across the bridge. In Labs 2 and 3, students will become familiar with movement commands that have the 123 Robot turn left, turn right, drive forward, and drive reverse. They will need to sequence those commands together to problem solve.

Students will use spatial reasoning skills to mentally map how the robot should move in the Unit. Students will need to use directional words, such as forward, left, right, twice as far, as they use the commands in VEXcode 123 and the 123 Robot and plan the outline for their projects. Students will also use gestures as they communicate with their group and their teacher. In this manner, students are able to develop their spatial reasoning skills through coding challenges.

kids with tablet

Teaching Coding

Throughout this Unit, students will be engaged with different coding concepts such as robot behaviors and sequencing. The Labs within this unit will follow a similar format:

  • Engage:
    • Teachers will help students make a personal connection to the concepts that will be taught in the Lab.
  • Play:
    • Instruct: Teachers will introduce the coding challenge. Ensure that the students understand the goal of the challenge.
    • Model: Teachers will introduce commands that will be used in the creation of their project to complete the challenge. Model the commands by projecting VEXcode 123 or by showing the physical Coder cards. For Labs that include pseudocode, model for students how to plan and outline the intention for their projects.
    • Facilitate: Teachers will be given prompts to engage students in a discussion about what the goals of their project are, the spatial reasoning involved in the challenge, and how to troubleshoot unexpected outcomes of their projects. This discussion will also verify that the students understand the purpose of the challenge and how to properly use the commands.
    • Remind: Teachers will remind 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.
    • Ask: Teachers will engage students in a discussion that will connect the Lab concepts to real-world applications. Some examples could include, “have you ever wanted to be an engineer?” or “where have you seen robots in your life?”
  • Share:
    • Students have an opportunity to communicate their learning in multiple ways. Using the Choice Board, students will be given a “voice and choice” for how they best display their learning.