Applying VEX GO
Connection to VEX GO
The VEX GO Kits are a great way to explore a deliberate design process. Students in this Unit will explore and use the Engineering Design Process to experiment adding and taking pieces away from the Pendulum build to solve questions such as, “How can I add a piece to help the motion of my Pendulum?” Through experimenting, students will learn how to solve open-ended challenges with multiple solutions.
In Lab 2, students will continue to use the VEX GO Kits and the Engineering Design Process in creating characters to use as pieces for the Pendulum Kerplunk game. They will build characters to meet certain specifications. Students will then experiment with the game set up, rules, and goals to create an original game. Using the Engineering Design Process, groups will challenge themselves to create a game that 2-4 players can play in the class.
The Pendulum Kerplunk Game Unit is a great way to practice spatial reasoning skills. While working through the Challenge Cards in Lab 1, students are asked to discuss how the parts of the Pendulum interact with one another and how specific pieces alter the functionality of the Pendulum. While students are working on the Challenge Cards, ask them questions such as “How does this additional piece change the way the Pendulum moves?” “Where is your group placing that VEX GO piece? Why there?”
Teaching with Building
Throughout this Unit, students will be engaged with different engineering, building or inquiry-based learning concepts. The Labs within this unit will follow a similar format:
- Teachers will help students make a personal connection to the concepts that will be taught in the Lab.
- Students will complete a VEX GO build.
- Instruct: Explain the activity/experiment that the students are doing. How should they get started? What are the rules? What is the success criteria?
- Model: Show an example of a partially filled out data sheet, game sheet, or an illustration of what the robot should be doing during the activity. Make that activity visible and give the teacher tips on how to also make it visible.
- Facilitate: Teachers will be given prompts to engage students in a discussion about what the goals of the activity are, the spatial reasoning involved with the building, and how to troubleshoot unexpected outcomes for their designs or plans for an activity. This discussion will also verify that the students understand the purpose of the activity and how to properly use the pieces from the VEX GO Kit.
- Remind: Teachers will remind students that their build, design, or attempt at the activity will not be fully correct the first time. Encourage multiple iterations and remind students that trial and error is a part of learning.
- Ask: Teachers will engage students in a discussion that will focus on developing a growth mindset. Some examples could include, “Did something go wrong? Great! How can you use this mistake to improve your design?” or “Not happy with your design? Fantastic! Who can you seek feedback from to make your design better?”
- Students have an opportunity to communicate their learning in multiple ways. Using the Choice Board, students will be given a “voice and choice” for how they best display their learning.