Skip to main content

Intro to Building
Lab 3 - Launch Pad

Teacher Portal

Launch the Engage Section

ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.

  1. Introduce launch pads to students by first making a personal connection to bridges.
  2. Pull out a beam from the VEX GO Kit and show it to the students.
  3. Actively count the holes on the beam along with the class when they find the same piece.
  4. Pull out a plate from the VEX GO Kit of the same color.
  5. Attach a beam to a GO Tile using only one standoff.
  6. Attach more standoffs to the beam in order to increase its stability and balance.
  7. Introduce the build for this Lab.
  8. Guide students to identify some of the important functions of a bridge and launch pad that they should consider in their build. 
  1. Ask how many students have walked across a bridge before. What was it like? Have they been across a bridge that felt wobbly or unstable?
  2. How many holes do you see in this beam? Can you find this piece in your kit?
  3. How many holes are along the beam? Do all beams have holes?
  4. Why do you think it might be better to use a plate instead of a beam?
  5. What do you think it means for something to be “stable?” Do you think that your build is stable?
  6. What happens when I add more support?
  7. Our goal today is to get our Astronaut safely across the launch pad.  Launch pads are similar to bridges because an astronaut must walk across the launch pad to get to the spaceship.
  8. What are some things a bridge and launch pad must be able to do? We need to make sure the launch pad is stable for our astronaut. 

Getting the Students Ready to Build

We know what a beam is and we know what a plate is. Now we can use these pieces to create a launch pad for our astronaut to walk across.

Facilitate the Build

  1. InstructInstruct students that they will be building a launch pad for their astronaut to walk across using pins, beams, and plates.

    Instruct students to join their groups, and have them complete the Robotics Roles & Routines sheet. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab 3 Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet.

    beams and plates
  2. DistributeDistribute a VEX GO Kit and GO Tile to each group if they do not have one already.
    VEX GO Tile
  3. FacilitateFacilitate a building demonstration.
    • Each group only has one GO Tile. Thus, ask groups to join with another group, this ensures that each pair of groups has two GO Tiles.

    • The distance between the two tiles should be approximately 12.5 cm (~5 in).

    • Model for students using two GO Tiles how to attach and detach pins to beams, plates and the GO Tiles.
    • After the demonstration, ask the builder in each group to try attaching pieces to the tiles themselves.
      Video file
    • Journalists should assist with the build and retrieve the necessary parts needed.
  4. OfferOffer suggestions and note positive group building and problem solving strategies as groups build together.
A VEX GO character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • Assign the Journalist to be responsible for material management. This will help to create a consistent practice on how to use the Kits in your classroom.
  • Encourage group members to take turns attaching and detaching parts with the Pin Tool before they begin the build. They will want to play with this.
    Video file
  • Remove the Astronaut from the Kits if the students are distracted by it. They can present their launch pad to you in order to receive the Astronaut.