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Robot Arm
Lab 3 - Using the Electromagnet

Teacher Portal

Launch the Engage Section

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

  1. Display, or copy onto the board, the Chart in the Lab 2 Image Slideshow.
  2. Note student ideas in the “How it works” column of the chart.
  3. Check off each item in the list that students identify as using coding, in the “Uses coding?” column.
  4. Add Robot Arm to the chart in the “Device” column. Check off the “Uses coding?” column as students agree.
  5. Fill in the “How it works” column for the Robot Arm with students’ ideas for additions.
  1. Look at this list of devices and machines. How many of you have used or seen one these used in your life? (Take an informal poll for each item listed in Column 1.)
  2. How do these items work? Do you think they have motors, computers, or a robot brain? How are they controlled?
  3. In order to control something with a computer or a robot brain, a human needs to use coding to tell it what to do. Which of these devices do you think used coding to be controlled? What makes you say that?
  4. Let’s think about our Robot Arms now. We’ve changed from manual to motorized controls, do you think we could control its movement with coding?
  5. What would we need to add to the Robot Arm in order to control it using coding?

Getting the Students Ready to Build

In order to use coding to control the Robot Arm, we will have to add a brain and change our build. We’re going to build the Robot Arm (1-Axis) to help us explore this more.

Facilitate the Build

  1. InstructInstruct students that they are going to build the Code Robot Arm (1-Axis) today.
    • Instruct students to join their groups from the previous Lab, and have them complete the Robotics Roles & Routines sheet. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet.
    • Remind students that they will be sharing roles, so they should distribute responsibilities again, and use what they learned in Lab 2 to make this successful.
  2. DistributeDistribute build instructions to each team. Journalists should gather the materials on the checklist.

    Code Robot Arm 1-Axis Build
    Code Robot Arm 1-Axis Build

  3. FacilitateFacilitate the building process.
    1. Builders can begin building.
    2. Journalists should assist with build instructions as needed.
    3. Ask students questions to prompt their thinking about the connections between coding and hardware.
      1. Can you explain the order of events to get the Robot Arm to move with coding? (VEXcode GO → Brain → Motor, etc.)
      2. How do you think the Robot Arm will move with the motor in that location?
  4. OfferOffer suggestions and note positive team building and problem solving strategies as groups build together.
A VEX GO character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • Deconstruct Previous Builds to Work in Smaller Groups - If you would like to return to the smaller groupings for the rest of this Robot Arm Unit, you can. Deconstruct all Motorized Robot Arm builds from previous labs, and have each group build the Robot Arm (1-Axis) on its own for this Lab. This build can be adapted to the Robot Arm (2-Axis), which will be used in Labs 4 and 5.
  • Specify Roles within Builder and Journalist - If you choose to keep the same groups as Lab 2, there will be more students in each group. Since there will be multiple students in each role, help students share their responsibilities in a tangible way. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab 3 Image Slideshow as a guide, have students take turns within each role. 
  • Note: In Play Part 2, students will disconnect a stack of blocks and move them to the side while they iterate on their project.  Let students know that this stack will not run because is it not attached to the stack connected to the {When started} block.