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Ocean Emergency
Lab 1 - Plan and Build

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


For students to build the Code Base and extension.

1 per group

Code Base Build Instructions

For students to build the Code Base.

1 per group

Lab 1 Image Slideshow

For teachers and students to reference throughout the Lab.

1 for teacher facilitation

Robotics Roles & Routines

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

1 per group

EDP Organizer

Editable Google Doc for students to plan and record the design process for their extension arm. 

1 per group


For students to fill out the Robotics Roles & Routines Worksheet and EDP Organizer.

1 per group

Pin Tool

To help remove pins or pry beams apart.

1 per group


Begin the lab by engaging with the students.

  1. Hook

    Ask students to raise their hands if they have ever seen a piece of trash on the side of the road. What do they think happens to that bottle or bag? Introduce the word pollution to the students. A pollution crisis is here. We are going to try our best to solve this crisis in our design challenge today.

  2. Leading Question

    How can we help clean up this trash? What can we do to help clean up pollution in the ocean?

  3. Build Students will build an extension arm to gather trash in the ocean.


Allow students to explore the concepts introduced.

Part 1

Students will continue to edit their build for the extension arm. The extension is for the Code Base robot to collect trash in the ocean. Students will use an iterative process to get their invention to solve the authentic problem.

Mid-Play Break

Students will reflect on Play Part 1. What worked and what didn’t work during the building process? What concerns do you have about your extension arm?

Part 2

Students will now start crafting their speech consisting of their extension arm prototype in less than 30 seconds. If more time is needed, students will continue to build and work on their creation. Students will share their speech with the teacher or with the class if time allows.


Allow students to discuss and display their learning.

A VEX GO character

Discussion Prompts