Implementing VEX GO STEM Labs
STEM Labs are designed to be the online teacher’s manual for VEX GO. 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 GO. 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 GO STEM Labs article.
Goals and Standards
Students will apply
- How to gain skills in building as well as explore the concept of stability and balance.
Students will make meaning of
- How can a design be affected by a constraint on materials?
- What makes a structure stable and balanced, and why is this important?
Students will be skilled at
- How to attach and remove pins from plates.
- How to design a structure that is stable.
- How to describe their design and structure using spatial vocabulary.
- Writing a procedure such as build instructions.
Students will know
- How to design and build a launch pad that is stable and balanced using VEX GO pieces.
- How to decompose a task they have completed into steps by writing build instructions.
- Create with the different pieces in the VEX GO Kit.
- Describe the concepts of stability and balance.
- Explain how to build a structure.
- Students will select pieces from the VEX GO Kit to build their launch pads in Play Part 1.
- Students will engage in dialogue with the teacher and other students throughout the Lab about the concepts of stability and balance.
- Brainstorm and decompose their build to decide on the best method for explaining its assembly.
- Students will construct the launch pad in Play Part 1.
- Students will justify how their final build is stable and balanced during their presentation in Play Part 2.
- Write or draw build instructions for the launch pad. Students should explain this procedure during the presentation to explain their build instructions in Play Part 2.
Connections to Standards
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
NGSS 3-5-ETS1-1: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
How Standard is Achieved: Throughout the Lab, students will be asked to design and build a launch pad for their Astronaut. In Play Part 1, students are faced with the criteria that the launch pad must bridge the gap between two VEX GO Tiles. Since the VEX GO Kit contains only a certain number of pieces, the students will face a constraint on materials as well as time.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.G.A.1: Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
How Standard is Achieved: During the Mid-Play Break, students will be asked to discuss the design of their launch pad builds using spatial vocabulary. They will be asked how their designs could have been designed stronger, and students will use spatial language while engaging in a discussion about stability and balance. In Play Part 2, students will be asked to write build instructions for their launch pad designs. They will be encouraged to use spatial language while writing the build instructions to describe the orientation of the pieces used.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
ISTE - (5) Computational Thinker - 5c: Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
How Standard is Achieved: During Play Part 1, students are asked to design and build a launch pad model adhering to the criteria that it must bridge the gap between two VEX GO Tiles. Once students have their launch pad designs solidified, in Play Part 2 they will write build instructions for them in order to break the design process into parts, as well as better understand the complex concepts of stability and balance.