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Mars Rover-Landing Challenge
Lab 1 - Detect Obstacles

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 Forward

For demonstration purposes. 1 for demonstration


For students to build the Code Base - Eye forward robot. 1 per group

Code Base Build Instructions

For students to build the Code Base. 1 per group

Code Base - Eye Forward Build Instructions

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

Tablet or Computer

For students to use VEXcode GO. 1 per group

Lab 1 Image Slideshow

For visual aids while teaching. 1 for class to view

Robotics Roles & Routines

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

Scrap white or light-colored paper

To ball up and use as obstacles on the Field. 1-2 per group

VEX GO Field Tiles and Walls

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

Pin Tool

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

VEXcode GO

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

Get Ready...Get VEX...GO! PDF Book (optional)

To read with students to introduce them to VEX GO through a story and introductory build. 1 for demonstration purposes

Get Ready...Get VEX...GO! Teacher's Guide (optional)

For additional prompts when introducing students to VEX GO with the PDF Book. 1 for teacher use


Begin the lab by engaging with the students.

  1. Hook

    What senses do you have? How do you use your senses? The Code Base- Eye Forward robot has an Eye Sensor on the front that will detect when an object is near.

    Note: If students are new to VEX GO, use the Get Ready...Get VEX...GO! PDF book and Teacher’s Guide to introduce them to learning and building with VEX GO. Add an additional 10-15 minutes to your lesson time to accommodate this additional activity. 

  2. Leading Question

    How can we use the Eye Sensor on the Code Base - Eye Forward robot to detect an obstacle in the Mars landing area?

  3. Build Code Base- Eye Forward


Allow students to explore the concepts introduced.

Part 1

Students will pretend the Code Base is a Mars rover that is tasked with detecting and clearing obstacles from the Mars landing area (GO Field). They will build a project in VEXcode GO together with their teacher, to drive the Code Base rover until an obstacle is detected on the Mars landing area.

Mid-Play Break

Students will observe how the green highlight feature moves as their VEXcode GO project is started. They will compare the movement with the highlight to the behaviors of the Code Base rover.

Part 2

Students will add a LED Bumper Sensor to the top of their Code Base rover. Then, they will add a [Wait] and two [Set bumper color] blocks to their project to make the LED Bumper on the Code Base glow after an object is detected by the Eye Sensor.


Allow students to discuss and display their learning.

A VEX GO character

Discussion Prompts