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Mini Competition

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Facilitating the Rethink Mini-Competition

What the Teacher Will Do:

  • Bring groups together for whole-class instruction. 
  • Instruct the class that they will be competing in their groups to create a VEXcode V5 project where the Workcell sorts disks faster than the other groups. 
  • Explain to groups that they can edit any existing projects they have saved or create a new project. They should use what they have learned in Labs 1 through 8 to create or edit a project that sorts disks in any order.
    • Tell groups that they will use the Lab 8 build for this mini-competition.
  • Explain to groups that the competition will run in two rounds.
    • In the first round, groups will need a project that sorts one disk of each color as fast as possible (three total disks).
    • In the second round, groups will need a project that sorts one red disk, one blue disk, and two green disks (four total disks).
      • The two green disks should be stacked in the same drop off location.
    • There will be two winners. The group with the fastest score from round one and the group with the fastest score from round two.
  • Instruct groups that they will build and test their projects until they are ready to be timed. Tell students to alert you when they are ready to have their round count for the competition, and you will come over and time their round.
  • Instruct groups to go to their assigned Workcells and begin working on their projects. 
  • While groups are building and testing their projects, circle the classroom and answer any questions that arise. For groups that are stuck with where to begin, provide them with one or two examples of things to change from the Teacher Tips box below the student instructions.
  • When a group is ready for their round, go to their workstation with a timer. Shuffle the disks so the colors are mixed up and place the disks in the pick up location.
    • Time students from the moment they start the project to the stopping point when the round is complete.
    • As you finish timing each group, record their scores on your own piece of paper or in a central location for other groups to see, like a whiteboard.
  • Use the Collaboration and Programming Rubrics to provide students with feedback and assess their projects throughout the Rethink mini competition.
  • After all groups have a recorded time for both rounds, bring the class together for a wrap-up discussion. Guidance for this discussion is provided in a Teacher Toolbox at the bottom of this page.

 You will be participating in a mini competition! You and your group will be competing to create a VEXcode V5 project where the Workcell sorts disks faster than the other groups. 

arm picking up the green disk

This competition will run in two rounds.

  • Round 1: Sort one disk of each color as fast as possible (three total disks).
  • Round 2: Sort one red disk, one blue disk, and two green disks as fast as possible (four total disks).
    • The two green disks should be stacked in the same drop off location.

Your group can edit any existing projects you have saved or create a new project. Use what you have learned in Labs 1 through 8 to create or edit a project that sorts the disks in any order.

When you are ready to have your score count, alert your teacher. They will reset the disks in the pick up location and time your group. Once you have a score recorded for round 1, begin working on the round 2 project.

There will be two competition winners. The group with the fastest score from round one and the group with the fastest score from round two.

Teacher Tips icon Teacher Tips

  • To time groups, you can also use the timer on the Brain's screen. Once students run the project, a timer appears at the top of the screen. This measures the time the project has been running in minutes and seconds. 

timer on brain screen

  • If groups are stuck and do not know where to begin, provide them with some ideas for things to change in their projects. 
    • Change the time of each [Wait] block.
    • Change the types of movements from joint to linear. Or use a combination of the two types of movement.
    • Change the speed of the joint and linear movement using the [Set joint speed] or [Set linear speed] blocks.

set joint speed block

set linear speed

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Discussion

After all groups have a recorded score for each round, bring groups back together for a whole-class discussion.

Ask groups about how they approached the competition. Ask questions like the following to see if groups can articulate how and why they made the changes to their projects. 

  • What elements did your change in the project? Why did you make those changes?
  • How did your project differ between round 1 and round 2?
  • What did your group add or change in the project to stack the second green disk in the green drop off location?
  • If you had to do this competition again, what would you change? What would you keep the same?