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Mars Rover-Exploring Mars Geology
Lab 3 - Sort your Samples

Teacher Portal

Materials Needed

The following is a list of all the materials that are needed to complete the VEX GO Lab. These materials include student facing materials as well as teacher facilitation materials. It is recommended that you assign two students to each VEX GO Kit.

In some Labs, links to teaching resources in a slideshow format have been included. These slides can help provide context and inspiration for your students. Teachers will be guided in how to implement the slides with suggestions throughout the lab. All slides are editable, and can be projected for students or used as a teacher resource. To edit the Google Slides, make a copy into your personal Drive and edit as needed.

Other editable documents have been included to assist in implementing the Labs in a small group format. Print the worksheets as is or copy and edit those documents to suit the needs of your classroom. Example Data Collection sheet setups have been included for certain experiments as well as the original blank copy. While they offer suggestions for setup, these documents are all editable to best suit your classroom and the needs of your students.

Materials Purpose Recommendation

Pre-built Code Base - Eye + Electromagnet 

For demonstration purposes. 1 for demonstration


To build the Code Base - Eye + Electromagnet and use the Disks for Lab activities 1 per group

Code Base Build Instructions (PDF) or Code Base Build Instructions (3D)

To build the Code Base. 1 per group

Code Base - Eye + Electromagnet Build Instructions (PDF)

To add the Eye Sensor and Electromagnet to the Code Base. 1 per group

Tablet or Computer 

To access VEXcode GO. 1 per group

VEXcode GO

For students to build projects for the Code Base. 1 per group

Lab 3 Image Slideshow

Google Doc / .pptx / .pdf

For visual aids while teaching. 1 for class to view

Robotics Roles & Routines

Google Doc / .docx / .pdf

Editable Google Doc for organizing group work and best practices for using the VEX GO Kit. 1 per group


For students to fill out the Robotics Roles & Routines checklist. 1 per group

Pin Tool

To help remove pins or pry beams apart. 1 per group

VEX GO Field Tiles and Walls

To use as a testing area for the Code Base. 4 Tiles and 8 Walls per testing area

Dry erase marker (optional) 

To mark the locations of the Disks and sorting areas on the Field. 1 per group

White board eraser (optional)

To erase the marker on the Field at the end of the Lab. 1 per group


Begin the lab by engaging with the students.

  1. Hook

    In Lab 2, we used our Code Base to sort a Disk based on its color. Why do you think this kind of behavior could be useful on the Mars rover? We used Disks to represent rock samples – do you think there are more than one kind of rock sample to sort on Mars?

  2. Leading Question

    How can we code our Code Base to collect and sort multiple Disks based on their color? 

  3. Build Code Base - Eye + Electromagnet


Allow students to explore the concepts introduced.

Part 1

Students will build on their projects from Lab 2, to add an additional [If then] block to sort the Blue Disk to a specific location. Students will build the project together with the teacher, and then will test it to see if they can successfully move the Blue Disk to the blue sorting area.

Mid-Play Break

Students will come together to check in about their progress, and will use the Stepping feature in VEXcode GO to help them talk about the project flow with conditions – where is the robot making a decision? What is happening on the Field and in the project to show that?

Part 2

Students will iterate and build on their projects to add the blocks needed to collect and sort the Green Disk. They will add an additional condition, using the [If then] and <Detects color> blocks, and will then test their projects to see if they can successfully collect and sort the Red, Blue, and Green Disks to their respective sorting areas.


Allow students to discuss and display their learning.

A VEX GO character

Discussion Prompts