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Helping Hand
Unit Applying VEX GO

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Applying VEX GO

Connection to VEX GO

Applying VEX GO

The VEX GO kits are a great way to explore how mechanisms can be built and used to solve real world challenges. For example, in the first Lab of the Unit, students explore how mechanisms help people complete tasks and make work easier. They will build an Adaptation Claw with pieces from the VEX GO Kit and explore its mechanisms to see how it works. 

By completing the Helping Hand GO STEM Lab Unit, students gain real and authentic learning experiences of building and testing a tool that makes work easier in everyday life. In Lab 1: Speed Stacker, students will practice picking up lightweight objects using the Adaptation Claw in order to prepare for a challenge using the Adaptation Claw with limited mobility.

The Helping Hand Unit is a great way to practice spatial reasoning skills. While testing the Adaptation Claw, encourage students to use spatial language to describe how parts of the claw move, and how they manipulate the pieces of the build to solve the Lab challenges. Ask students questions such as, “How are you moving the Adaptation Claw? Are the movements forward/backward, side to side, upward/downward, or rotating?”

Adaptation claw
Directional Movement with the Adaptation Claw

Teaching with Building

Throughout this Unit, students will be engaged with different engineering, building, or inquiry-based learning concepts. 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.
    • Students will complete a VEX GO build.
  • Play:
    • Instruct: Explain the activity/experiment that the students are doing. How should they get started? What are the rules? What is the success criteria?
    • Model: Show an example of a partially filled out data sheet, game sheet, or an illustration of what the robot should be doing during the activity. Make that activity visible and give the teacher tips on how to also make it visible.
    • Facilitate: Teachers will be given prompts to engage students in a discussion about what the goals of the activity are, the spatial reasoning involved with the building, and how to troubleshoot unexpected outcomes for their designs or plans for an activity. This discussion will also verify that the students understand the purpose of the activity and how to properly use the pieces from the VEX GO Kit.
    • Remind: Teachers will remind students that their build, design, or attempt at the activity will not be fully correct 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 focus on developing a growth mindset. Some examples could include, “Did something go wrong? Great! How can you use this mistake to improve your design?” or “Not happy with your design? Fantastic! Who can you seek feedback from to make your design better?”
  • 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.