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  • 12-18 years old
  • 45 minutes - 5 hours, 45 minutes
  • Intermediate
Preview image


Students are asked to program a robot to navigate a warehouse and to prepare packages for delivery.

Key Concepts

  • Programming

  • Robot Behaviors

  • Iterative Design


  • Apply building directions to create a robot to complete a specific task.

  • Decompose problems into smaller components through systematic analysis, using constructs such as procedures, modules, and/or objects.

  • Differentiate between the commands Drive Forward and Drive in Reverse, Turn Left and Turn Right, Arm Up and Arm Down, Open Claw and Close Claw.

  • Utilize the Arm Up and Arm Down, Open Claw and Close Claw commands in an project-based activity.

  • Explain why advances in robotic development is leading to more precise movements.

Materials needed

  • 1 or more VEX V5 Classroom Starter Kits

  • Roll of tape

  • 12 x 12 foot or 3.66 x 3.66 m open area

  • Optional: VEX Robotics Competition Field Perimeter and Tile kits.

  • Meter stick or Ruler

  • Engineering Notebook

  • Aluminum cans

  • Boxes of various sizes

  • 9+ textbooks

  • Stopwatch

  • VEXcode V5 

What You'll Need to Know

  • Programming Forward and in Reverse

  • Programming Turning Right and Turning Left

Facilitation Notes

  • Ensure all required parts for the build are available prior to starting this STEM Lab.

  • Make sure that there is ample space in the classroom to measure and tape the layout of the "warehouse" that will be used in the activity. If you have a VRC Field Perimeter and Tile kit, you may set up the Package Dash Challenge using it. If not, tape can be used to outline the measurements.

  • If multiple students will be downloading their saved projects to the same robot, have the students add their initials to the name of the saved project (For example, "Forward and Backward_MW). This way students can find and make adjustments to their projects and not others.

  • An engineering notebook can be as simple as lined paper within a folder or binder. The notebook shown is a more sophisticated example that is available through VEX Robotics.

  • Students can share their pseudocode with the teacher for feedback prior to creating the project for feedback.

  • Students can create and expand on the warehouse floor plan to explore different programming options.

  • The approximate pacing of each section of the Stem Lab is as follows: Seek- 155 minutes, Play- 70 minutes, Apply- 15 minutes, Rethink- 105 minutes, Know- 5 minutes.

Further Your Learning


  • Discuss the pros and cons of robots completing more job related tasks as technology develops.

  • Research and write about other areas where robotic precision is being developed or should be explored.


  • Write a paragraph or create a timeline sharing the highlights of industrial robotic development from 1954 until present day.

Educational Standards

Standards for Technological Literacy (STL)

  • 1.F

  • 6.D

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

  • HS-ETS1-2

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

  • 3A-AP-17

  • 3A-AP-21

  • 2-AP-19

  • 3A-IC-24

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

  • RST.9-10.2

  • RST.9-10.3

  • MP.5

  • MP.6


  • 126.40.c.5.A

  • 126.40.c.5.B

  • 126.40.c.3.A

  • 126.40.c.3.B

  • 126.40.c.3.F

  • 126.40.c.3.G

  • 111.39.c.1.C