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Gravity Rush Teacher

Teacher Portal
  • 12 - 18 years old
  • 45 minutes - 4 hrs, 50 min
  • Advanced
Preview image


Learners will explore the VEX V5 Clawbot and issues of center of gravity as they prepare for a race.

Key Concepts

  • Center of Gravity

  • Acceleration

  • Testing & Data Collection


  • Create a V5 Clawbot and a ramp to race it on

  • Create and evaluate strategies and plans for winning the race

  • Analyze collected data from testing to decide the best configuration for the race

  • Apply the formula for acceleration to precisely run testing

  • Apply center of gravity concepts

  • Understand how motion affects the stability of objects

Materials needed

  • VEX V5 Classroom Starter Kit

  • Engineering notebook

  • Tape for marking off racing space on the floor

  • Meter stick or tape measure

  • Materials for building a ramp

  • 500 mL plastic bottle filled with a dry material of equal weight for each competing team

Facilitation Notes

  • The Claw Arm Challenge has a number of recommended components but they can be adapted to the resources available.

    • The materials for the ramp can vary greatly. Anything from three-ringed binders to plywood could be used as long as the materials are strong enough to support the weight of two V5 Clawbots.

    • The 500 mL plastic bottle filled with sand is a suggestion for what the weighted cargo could be. The only requirement is that the weighted cargo is exactly the same in shape and weight for each competing team.

  • Finding a space that can accommodate a track 3 meters by 1.25 meters might be difficult. In such cases, the track and its ramp can be slightly scaled down. However, the width of the track needs to be wide enough to accommodate two V5 Clawbots racing at the same time.

  • It is recommended that teams calculate the V5 Clawbot's acceleration but if this is too advanced, teams can approximate whether the V5 Clawbot accelerates quickly, moderately, or slowly and then define what that means for their team.

  • The central concept of this STEM Lab is center of gravity and its relationship to the stability of the moving robot. Therefore, it is important to note that the V5 Clawbot is prone to tipping when the claw arm is lifted, especially if the arm is raised and the claw is holding an object.

  • An even number of teams will make for the easiest competition. However, any number of teams can participate if a round-robin bracket is used.

  • The approximate pacing of each section of the Stem Lab is as follows: Seek- 155 minutes, Play- 45 minutes, Apply- 20 minutes, Rethink- 65 minutes, Know- 5 minutes.

Further Your Learning


  • Use the testing/data logging techniques introduced in your next science lesson.

  • Research the property of inertia. List and explain three examples of this type of resistance.


  • Complete and present some further research on the Leaning Tower of Pisa.


  • Write a paragraph about a time you had to use strategy and teamwork to solve a problem.

Educational Standards

Standards for Technological Literacy (STL)

  • 8.J: The design needs to be continually checked and critiqued, and the ideas of the design must be redefined and improved. (Apply)

  • 9.I: Establish design principles used to evaluate existing designs, to collect data, and to guide the design process. (Apply)

  • 9.L: The process of engineering design takes into account a number of factors. (Apply)

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

  • HS-ETS1-2: Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering. (Apply and Rethink)

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

  • CCSS.RST.9-12.3: Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text. (Seek, Play, and Rethink)

  • CCSS.MP.1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. (Apply and Rethink)

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

  • 110.58.b.2.F: Participate appropriately in conversations. (Seek, Play, Apply, and Rethink)

  • 110.58.b.3.E: Use appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills to promote group effectiveness. (Seek, Play, Apply, and Rethink)

  • 111.39.c.1.B: Use a problem-solving model that incorporates analyzing given information, formulating a plan or strategy, determining a solution, justifying the solution, and evaluating the problem-solving process and the reasonableness of the solution. (Apply and Rethink)