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Mars Math Expedition
Unit Pacing Guide

Teacher Portal

This unit should be implemented to supplement student learning on the concepts of participating in a VEX GO Competition.

STEM Labs can be adapted in various ways to fit into any classroom or learning environment. Each STEM Lab includes the following 3 sections: Engage, Play, and Share (optional).

Each STEM Lab in this unit can be completed in as little as 40 minutes

Section Summary

The Engage and Play sections, which contain the primary learning activities, can be completed within 40 minutes. The Share section, which enables students to express their learning is optional, but estimated at around 3-5 minutes per group minutes per group.

Click on the tabs below to view descriptions of the Engage, Play and Share sections of the STEM Lab.

The Pacing Guide

The pacing guide for each Lab provides step-by-step instructions on What, How, and When to teach. The STEM Lab Pacing Guide previews the concepts that are taught in each section (Engage, Play, and Share (optional)), explains how the section is delivered, and identifies all the materials that are needed.

Making This Unit Fit Your Unique Classroom Needs

  • Implementing in less time: 
    • To save time when implementing multiple Labs over a long stretch of time, keep the Competition Advanced Hero Robots built and skip the Build portion of the Engage sections of Labs 2-4. You could also pre-build each Stage of the competition Field ahead of time, rather than having students build them with you.
  • Activities to support reteaching:
    • If students are struggling with specific tasks with the robot, such as driving the robot, lifting objects with the arm, or pushing objects, set up an extra practice area using extra pieces from the GO Kit or classroom objects for students to use. 
    • Scouting is the practice of teams sending out representatives to see what other teams are doing in order to get ideas for their own competition strategies. If students are struggling to form a competition strategy, suggest that they do some scouting to help them come up with ideas to try.
  • Extending this Unit:
    • Use the Choice Board activities to extend the Unit, while allowing students to express their voice and choice in what activities they want to complete.
    • Students can always find a way to improve their driving skills or robot design! Give students an opportunity to iterate on their Hero Robot's design to try to make it better suited to completing competition tasks. They can sketch a design, build it, and test it out to see if it helps them score more points. They can do the same with their driving strategy.
    • Hold additional rounds of each Lab competition, as well as the Unit competition to give students the opportunity to further develop their game strategy. With extra practice time, and more matches to compete in, students can learn more about how to effectively and efficiently complete competition tasks. 
  • If students get done building at different times, there are a number of meaningful learning activities early finishers can participate in as the rest of the group finishes building. View this article for several suggestions about how to plan for engaging students who finish building earlier than others. From establishing classroom helper routines to completing short activities, there are many ways to keep all students engaged throughout class building time.

VEXcode GO Resources

Concept Resource Description

Driving the Robot

Remote Control

Tutorial Video

Describes how to use the Drive tab to drive the robot. 

Connecting to VEXcode GO

Connecting To Your Robot

Tutorial Video

Describes how to connect your Brain to VEXcode GO.