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Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Facilitating the Rethink Section

In this Rethink challenge, groups will edit their Workcell builds and create code to compete in the Capstone Project Competition.

What the Teacher Will Do:

  • As a whole class, introduce the challenge to students. Explain that there is not a prescribed build for this competition. Students can use examples found throughout this Lab, the previous 12 Labs, and the Workcell Extensions. However, students are free to design any layout they see fit to be successful in the competition.
  • Break students into their groups. Ensure they have their assigned Workcell, their device with VEXcode V5, and their engineering notebooks.
  • Instruct groups to first watch the video on this page and then read the rules document before beginning the challenge.
    • After students have read the rules, have them answer these Check Your Understanding (CYU) questions and then check in with you. This ensures the students all understand the rules before moving on.
    • Students are asked to answer these questions in their engineering notebook, but you can also print out the Google Docs ahead of time.
    • More information about facilitating this check in along with the solutions to the CYU questions.
  • While groups are beginning the challenge, circle the room.
    • Ask students about how they are approaching the challenge. What is their strategy? How are they thinking of designing their Workcell to compete?
    • For groups that are struggling, encourage them to look back at the Play section for specific steps on how to find the x, y, and z-coordinates once the arm has been moved, how to understand the arm's mechanical limits, or how to make custom V5 cables. 
      • If groups are unsure where to start, encourage them to look through the Workcell Extensions for ideas and inspiration, as well as step-by-step help on how to build certain mechanisms. More information on these mechanisms can be found in this article.
  • After groups have designed their Workcell and created code, encourage students to test their designs, record the outcome, make adjustments, and then try again.
  • Once groups have designed and tested their Workcells, it is now time to compete. Note that groups will not be physically competing against each other. Each group will compete while you, the teacher, watch the run to record the time as well as the score. While one group is actively competing, other groups should be continuing to practice and iterate. 
  • To keep track of the score and time for each group, use the V5 Workcell Leaderboard. Information on how to facilitate the Capstone Project Competition using this leaderboard can be found in this article.
  • After all groups have competed, bring students back together for a whole-class discussion. Ask students some of these questions to wrap up the challenge.
    • How did you interpret the rules in order to make design decisions?
    • What was your strategy to obtain the highest score?
    • What did your group find difficult about this challenge?
    • Did your project work the first time you tried it? If not, what changes did you make to improve it?
    • How did your group work together to solve the challenge?
  • Use the Collaboration and Programming Rubrics to provide students with feedback and assess their projects throughout the Rethink challenge.

For more information on how to facilitate the Rethink challenge, go to the V5 Workcell Educator Certification and view the following article:

In this challenge, you will compete in the Capstone Project Competition! You will design a Workcell that will sort all 36 randomly dispensed disks into their designated colored End Zones as quickly as possible. Sorting disks correctly will award points. Scoring disks incorrectly or inefficiently will result in a loss of points. Bonus points will be awarded depending on how disks are stacked in the End Zones, as well as how quickly. The winner of the Capstone Project is determined by who has the most points at the end of the run. Watch the video below to learn the process you can use to apply the information you have previously learned to the Capstone Project Competition!

Understanding the Rules

The Capstone Project Competition is completely autonomous. The goal is to code your Workcell to sort all 36 colored disks as quickly as possible, without error, to score points.

Read this document to analyze and interpret the rules for the competition. 

As you read the rules, think about how you can use them to develop a game strategy.

Note that the image to the left is just one possible example of a Workcell design. 

There are many strategies and build designs that you can use to compete successfully in the competition.

Lab 13 Build Layout

Check Your Understanding

Before moving on, ensure that you understand the rules and setup of the competition by answering the questions in the document below in your engineering notebook.

Check Your Understanding questions >

After completing the questions, check in with your teacher.

Applying the Engineering Design Process

Watch this video about the engineering design process to see how to walk through the steps to continue to develop and iterate on your Workcell design and construction for use in the Capstone Project Competition.

Open Engineering Design Process Poster

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Check in

Once students have finished the Check Your Understanding (CYU) questions, they will check in with you. Review the answers with them to ensure all students are on the same page understanding the rules before moving on. 

Check Your Understanding questions Answer Key >

Ask students if they have any additional questions or if any part of the rules document is unclear. Use this opportunity to clear up any confusion about the competition rules and/or expectations.

Teacher Tips icon Teacher Tips

  • Ensure students obtain new mastering values before beginning to code their Workcell using VEXcode V5.
  • Ensure the arm can reach all of the End Zones as well as any conveyors transporting disks to be picked up by the arm.
  • In order to have the disks accurately fall into the End Zones, the coordinates of the locations need to be precise. If students are having an issue getting the project to work as intended, have students check the (x, y, z) coordinates of the End Zones. This can be done using the Manual Move example project in VEXcode V5. 
  • Encourage students to build and test one part of the Workcell at a time. This will not only allow students to focus on any potential errors sooner than later, but it will also allow them to break the design down into smaller parts instead of trying to design, build, and test everything at once.

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox

Since there is no prescribed build for the Capstone Project Competition, build designs and coding solutions will vary. 

One example build can be seen here. 

Lab 13 Build Layout

For custom build designs or custom coding solutions, visit VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+).