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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

  • Using the 123 Robot to solve addition problems on a number line.
  • Using objects as tools to model numbers in an addition equation.

Students will make meaning of

  • The values in an addition equation can be represented and solved using a number line.
  • The relationship between manipulatives and the value of a number is 1:1.

Students will be skilled at

  • Waking the 123 Robot.
  • Creating and following a set of steps to solve an equation.
  • Using a 123 Robot and a number line to solve an addition equation.
  • Using objects as tools to represent numbers when solving an addition problem.

Students will know

  • That one space moved on the number line is equal to adding one.
  • How to use a set of manipulatives to represent an addition problem.
  • How to follow a prescribed set of steps to solve an addition equation.



  1. Students will represent an addition equation using the 123 Robot, fingers, mental images, and the number line.
  2. Students will solve addition problems using tools including: a 123 Robot, a number line, and manipulatives.


  1. Students will use manipulatives to represent numbers and an equation during the Engage section. They will use fingers, manipulatives, and mental math.
  2. In Play Part 1, students will be guided to solve an addition problem using tools including: the 123 Robot, a number line, and manipulatives. After this guided practice, students will work in small groups to solve a new equation using the 123 Robot.


  1. In the Mid-Play Break, students will guide the teacher through the process of representing and solving an addition equation with the 123 Robot, number line and manipulatives.
  2. In Play Part 2, groups will be able to accurately solve the equation, and check for accuracy with the manipulatives.

Connections to Standards