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Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Facilitating the Rethink Section

In this Rethink challenge, groups will draw 'VEX' on the whiteboard of the Workcell using a 2D list with variables in a VEXcode V5 project.

What the Teacher Will Do:

  • As a whole class, introduce the challenge to students. Explain that they will be drawing 'VEX' on the whiteboard using a 2D list with variables in a VEXcode V5 project. This is an extension of the skills they practiced in Play.
  • Break students into their groups. Ensure they have their assigned Workcell, their device with VEXcode V5, and their engineering notebooks.
  • Instruct groups to follow the steps on this page to complete the challenge.
  • While groups are completing the challenge, circle the room.
    • Ask students about how they are approaching the challenge. How are they choosing the order of the points to draw the word? What z-values are they using to pick the marker up from the whiteboard?
    • For groups that are struggling, encourage them to look back at the Play section for specific steps on how to create and use 2D lists and variables.
  • After groups have completed the challenge, bring students back together for a whole-class discussion. Ask students some of these questions to wrap up the challenge.
    • What blocks did your group use to draw 'VEX?' Why did you decide to use those blocks?
    • How did your group choose the points to draw 'VEX?' How do those points compare to other group's points?
    • What did your group find difficult about this challenge?
    • How did your group work together to solve the challenge? What could you do to improve your collaboration in the next Lab?
  • Use the Collaboration and Programming Rubrics (Google / .docx / .pdf) 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.


Previously in this Lab, you have created a 2D list with variables and blocks from the ‘Arm’ category to move the arm mounted on the Workcell to different points. In this challenge, you will use those same skills to instruct the arm mounted on the Workcell to draw ‘VEX’ on the whiteboard.

Lab 6 - VEX_1

Follow these steps to complete the challenge: 

  • Draw the outline for the word ‘VEX’ from the points in the above image onto your whiteboard using one color of dry-erase marker.
    • Be sure to provide space between each letter. No letters should share the same coordinate point.
    • Draw the same outline of points in your engineering notebook.
  • In your engineering notebook, label each coordinate point needed for the project to determine the height of your 2D list in VEXcode V5.
  • Using the ‘Manual Movement’ example project in VEXcode V5, record the coordinates of all coordinate points in your engineering notebook.
    • Be sure to enter your mastering values that were recorded in the Seek section of this Lab.
  • Build a project in VEXcode V5 to instruct the arm of the Workcell to draw ‘VEX’ on the whiteboard.
    • Follow the steps in Play for instructions on how to create a 2D list.
    • Make sure the [Manual movement] block is removed from the project.
  • Using another color of dry-erase marker, run the project.

Teacher Tips icon Teacher Tips

 Ensure students have their mastering values readily available from the Seek section.

  • Before students begin, check that they have set the tool to ‘marker.’

Set marker

  • After students have gotten the coordinates for all of their points, ensure they remove the [Manual movement] block from the project before adding in the 2D list.

MAnual Movement

  • Remind students that 2D lists in VEXcode V5 have a maximum of 20 rows. If they need to use more coordinate points, have them create a second 2D list and continue their project.
    • Multiple 2D lists can also be used to help them organize their project. A list could be created to hold the points for each of the three letters.
    • If students chose to use multiple 2D lists, remind them to set the waypointIndex variable back to 1 between each list so the project knows to go to the first row in the subsequent list.

2 2d lists

  • If students are looking for another challenge, have them draw out their name or initials using the same process as this Rethink Challenge.

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox

The following is an example of one possible solution for the Rethink challenge.

lab 6 rethink solution_0