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Mars Rover-Surface Operations
Lab 2 - Collect and Bury Mission

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 - LED Bumper Top

For demonstration purposes. 1 for demonstration


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

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

For students to build the Code Base. 1 per group

Code Base - LED Bumper Top Build Instructions (PDF)

To add the LED Bumper to the Code Base Build. 1 per group

Tablet or Computer 

For students to use VEXcode GO. 1 per group

Lab 2 Image Slideshow Google / .pptx / .pdf

For visual aids while teaching. 1 for class to view

Robotics Roles & Routines Google / .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

Small classroom items (i.e. erasers, pom poms) 

To use as samples in the challenge. 1-3 per group

Dry erase markers

To mark the sample locations and the starting point in the Field. 2 markers of different colors per group

Whiteboard eraser 

To erase sample locations drawn on the Tiles at the end of the Lab. 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 4 Walls per Field for testing

Small colored flags or colored paper (optional)

For students to indicate when they are ready to test their code on the Field. 3 flags or papers 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) Google / .pptx / .pdf

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

    Students discuss how we can learn more about things by studying how they change over time (plants, animals, etc). The scientists studying Mars are looking for changes over time in the samples they are collecting, too. However, they can’t bring those samples back to Earth immediately, so they have to bury them for a future mission.

    Note: If students are new to VEX GO, use the Get Ready...Get VEX...GO! PDF book and Teacher’s Guide (Google / .docx / .pdf) 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 do you think we can code our Code Base to “bury” our samples after collecting them?

  3. Build Code Base - LED Bumper Top


Allow students to explore the concepts introduced.

Part 1

Students will build and test a VEXcode GO project where the Code Base collects two samples and takes them to the base so they can be “buried.” The Code Base can only carry one sample at a time, so it will need to drive out and back two times during this project. Students can choose the order in which the Code Base collects the samples.

Mid-Play Break

Students will discuss how they sequenced their projects to have the Code Base collect and bury two samples. How did they turn the Code Base around? What VEXcode GO blocks did they use? Why did they choose to pick up the samples in that order?

Part 2

Students will continue to work on their projects so the Code Base collects a third sample and takes it to the base to be buried.


Allow students to discuss and display their learning.

A VEX GO character

Discussion Prompts