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Mars Math Expedition
Unit Applying VEX GO

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Connection to VEX GO

Applying VEX GO

The Mars Math Expedition brings the fun of robotics competitions to the classroom as students explore different areas of a Mars mission with their VEX GO robot. The tasks that the Hero Robot needs to complete to earn points in the competition directly relate to existing or upcoming Mars missions.

In Lab 1, students build the Competition Advanced Hero Bot and drive it using the Drive Tab in VEXcode GO to remove samples and a rover from craters on the Field. This connects back to NASA's Mars 2020 Mission being led by the Perseverance rover that is collecting geological samples. They are introduced to robotics competitions and begin to build skills that allow them to be good teammates to one another as facilitated through conversations and reminders from the teacher. In Lab 2, students will drive the Hero Bot to transport samples back to the lab and place them on their corresponding color position. The precision required to place these pieces encourages students to slow down and think through the positioning of the robot and of the samples. Being able to orient the samples into the correct position exercises their spatial reasoning. 

In Lab 3, the rocket ship and helicopter are added to the Field. Students will need to lift the rocket ship to prepare it for takeoff by driving their Hero Bot to push it upwards. They will also need to clear a landing area for the helicopter. The Mars 2020 Mission sent both the rover and a helicopter to the surface of Mars to begin testing different flight instruments on the planet. Students will need to clearly communicate with one another during the competition so the driver can indicate to their teammate when the landing area is clear and the helicopter can be placed on the Field. That communication is another skill they will be building as they work as a team. In Lab 4, students will add the final elements to the Field including the fuel cells. By the end of Lab 4, students will have practiced all of the skills necessary to score points in the Mars Math Expedition competition. 

In Lab 5, the class will transform into a competition arena where teams will compete to see how many tasks they can complete in the time limit. They will use what they learned in the previous Labs to develop a game strategy and try to earn a high score!