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Robot Arm
Lab 2 - Motorized Robot Arm

Teacher Portal

Launch the Engage Section

ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.

  1. The teacher should pick up a large book, and hold it in the air.
  2. Pass the book to a student, and ask the student to put it on one side of the desk, then pick it up and put it on the other side, and keep repeating this action while you’re talking.
  3. If available, use the Robot Arm build from Lab 1, and demonstrate moving a disk with it repeatedly. If not available, pick up and move a disk with your hand from one side of a tile to the other repeatedly.
  4. If available, hold the Robot Arm stationary for students to observe. If not available, display or distribute an image of the Robot Arm from the previous Lab (see slide #2 in the Lab 2 Image Slideshow.)
  1. What if you had to hold a book in the air, like this, for a minute? What about an hour? What about a whole day? Would you get tired?
  2. What if you had to move this book over and over again? How would you feel? Would you get tired? Bored? How long do you think you could do that before you had to stop?
  3. Now let’s think about the Robot Arms we built in Lab 1. Would that help us to move a disk over and over again? Why or why not? Could we still get tired?
  4. What do you think we could add or change about our Robot Arms from Lab 1 to make them more useful?

Getting the Students Ready to Build

How can motors make the Robot Arm more useful? Let’s add motors and switches and find out!

Facilitate the Build

  1. InstructInstruct students that they are going to combine groups to motorize the Robot Arm. As they complete the Robot Roles & Routines sheet, explain that there will be more than one Builder and Journalist for this Lab. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet.
  2. DistributeDistribute Motorized Robot Arm build instructions to each group.

    Build the Motorized Robot Arm
    Build the Motorized Robot Arm

    Journalists should gather the materials on the checklist together.

  3. FacilitateFacilitate the building process.
    1. Builders can begin building.
    2. Journalists should assist with build instructions as needed.
    3. Ask questions to prompt students’ thinking about mechanization such as,
      1. Where does the motor get its power from?
      2. How do you think the motor will change the arm’s movement?  Will it be faster or slower?
      3. Do you think the motor will make the arm easier or more difficult to control?  Why?
  4. OfferOffer positive reinforcement to groups that share responsibilities well, and offer support to help those who need to better define their roles within the group.
A VEX GO character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • Specify Roles within Builder and Journalist - Since there will be multiple students in each role because of the need for two VEX GO Kits per build, help students share the responsibilities in a tangible way. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab 2 Image Slideshow as a guide, have students take turns within each role. 
  • Have a Plan for Combining Groups - In some cases, it can be helpful to think ahead and have a plan for which groups will work together before the Lab begins. Then, when instructing students to combine groups, the teacher can assign groups to be partners quickly, to minimize student debate or distraction.