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The Mars Math Expedition VEX GO Competition STEM Lab Unit is a great way to introduce students to the idea of a robotics competition, to build on what they have learned and done with VEX GO, and to extend STEM learning in fun and engaging ways. The Mars Math Expedition STEM Lab Unit is written using the Competition Advanced Hero Robot to put the focus of the activities on the Field tasks themselves, rather than the different robot builds. The Competition Advanced Hero Robot is capable of completing all tasks on the Field, however, this Unit can be adapted to use other Hero Robots as well. The Hero Robots themselves have varying levels of complexity, enabling you to use the robot that best meets the needs of your students.

Competition Base Hero Robot

This is the base competition Hero Robot. This Hero Robot, similar to the Code Base, is the easiest and quickest for students to build. It is a great introductory competition robot for students to quickly begin engaging in VEX GO competition tasks.

To build the Competition Base Hero Robot, follow the build instructions here. All Competition Hero Robots begin with the Competition Base, then add onto it with other components to add complexity.

Competition Base + Claw Hero Robot

This build has students add a claw to the Competition Base Hero Robot. This claw allows students to complete some more complex tasks.

To build the Competition Base + Claw Hero Robot, build the Competition Base first, then use the build instruction to add the Claw.

Competition Advanced Hero Robot

This is the most complex Hero Robot build, adding a moveable robotic arm that can be used to raise and lower objects. The arm is controlled with an additional motor. This robot allows students to complete all competition tasks.

To build the Competition Advanced Hero Robot, build the Competition Base first, then use the build instructions to add the arm.

### Adapting the tasks in this Unit to use other Hero Robots

The Mars Math Expedition Competition is adaptable for any of the Hero Robots. While it is written using the Competition Advanced Hero Robot, you can adapt the tasks in this Unit to best meet the needs of your students. To use different Hero Robot builds, adjusting which tasks are included in the classroom competitions for each Lab, and the culminating competition for the Unit.

This table shows which tasks in each Lab can be completed with each of the Hero Robot builds.

Mars Math Expedition Competition Tasks

Lab # Task Competition Base Competition + Claw Competition Advanced
#1: Crater Collection Remove a sample from the crater X X X
#1: Crater Collection Rescue the rover from the crater X X X
#2: Lift onto the Lab Place a sample on the Lab Tile X X X
#2: Lift onto the Lab Place a sample on top of the Lab     X
#2: Lift onto the Lab Place a sample on the corresponding colored square on top of the Lab     X
#3: Blast Off! Clear the debris from the landing site X X X
#3: Blast Off! Place the helicopter on the landing site by hand N/A N/A N/A
#3: Blast Off! Lift the Rocket Ship   X X
#3: Blast Off! Tilt the solar panel down     X
#4: Fuel Cell Frenzy Release a Fuel Cell from the cradle     X
#4: Fuel Cell Frenzy Deliver a Fuel Cell to the Landing Site X X X
#4: Fuel Cell Frenzy Deliver a Fuel Cell to the Rocket Ship X X X
#4: Fuel Cell Frenzy End with the robot touching the red Tile X X X

The competitions for each Lab, and the Unit competition can feature any of the tasks in the table above. Depending on the Hero Robot that your students are using, you may want to adjust the tasks that are offered in the competitions. You can decide whether you want all students to use the same Hero Robot, or if you want to give students the option to choose which Hero Robot they wish to use for the Unit competition in Lab 5, and adjust the tasks on the Field accordingly.