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Simple Machines
Lab 1 - Inclined Plane

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 Inclined Plane and for activities in the Play sections.

1 per group

Lab 1 Image Slideshow

For teacher and student context and inspiration during the Lab.

1 for teacher demonstration

Pre-built Inclined Plane

Used by the teacher during the Engage section for a demonstration.

1 for teacher demonstration

Inclined Plane Build Instructions

For students to build the Inclined Plane.

1 per group

Robotics Roles & Routines

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

1 per group

Data Collection Sheet or Lab 1 Data Collection Sheet Example

Editable Google Doc for documenting the group’s predictions as well as the distance the Blue Wheel traveled in the Play section.

1 per group

Measuring Device

For students to measure how far the Blue Wheel travels when it is rolled down the Inclined Plane. 

1 per group


For students to fill out the Robotics Roles & Routines worksheet and the Data Collection Sheet. 

1 per group

Pin Tool

To help remove pins or pry beams apart.

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)

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

    Ask the students, “Have you ever gone down a slide?  What makes us move down the slide?” Ask students to use their own words to explain why we slide down a slide, but not when we sit on a flat surface like a bench. 

    Note: If students are new to VEX GO, use the Get Ready...Get VEX...GO! PDF book and Teacher’s Guide 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

    What is the difference between sliding down a tall steep slide vs. a low one? 

  3. Build Students will use build instructions to build the Inclined Plane.


Allow students to explore the concepts introduced.

Part 1

Students use their observations from the demonstration in Engage to make a prediction for how far they think the Blue Wheel will travel from the Inclined Plane set at the lowest height. Students record their predictions on the Data Collection Sheet. Then, they test their predictions by rolling the wheel down the incline and measure the distance traveled. 

Mid-Play Break

Students share their predictions and compare measured distances. They also use their observations to reinforce the connection that the unbalanced force of gravity is what causes the wheel to move on the Inclined Plane.

Part 2

Students will make new predictions for how far the Blue Wheel will roll on the second and third height of the Inclined Plane based on data from the first height. Students test and record the distances traveled on the Data Collection Sheet. Students will also highlight the cause and effect relationships between the differing heights of the Inclined Plane and the distance the Blue Wheel rolls in their justifications of their predictions.


Allow students to discuss and display their learning.

A VEX GO character

Discussion Prompts