Classroom Setup (Startup Items and Room Design)

Hello all,

I have the opportunity to put together a purchase for bringing VEX to my highschool. This would be primarily classroom focused first, competition to happen after - maybe after the first year. This would become a central component for our grade 11 ‘Computer Engineering’ course.

I had been looking at buying 2 classroom V5 super kits bundles (12 total bots.) We also plan of building in-house an elevated platform for a competition field and storage beneath.

I’m looking for advice on what other purchases to propose. (Ex. Maybe competition kits vs classroom kits?) Or other tools, extra, parts that we also might need down the road for competition. I also don’t know what I should look at to start with in terms of game elements.

The second piece of advice is room layout. The room this is going into is a decent size, but it was an old lab where computers were on millwork on the two longest walls, and on an island. Another full wall is completely empty as it was a green screen wall. So I’m thinking storage against that wall. The computers will need to be rearrabged a little bit in order to allow groups of 2-3 to sit together, but laptops isn’t in the buget. I have seen other examples of room design scattered throughout forums, but I thought it was worth another ask for any new insight. Especially since I have a full 30+ feet of a blank wall.

I have so much learning to do on VEX, but like many things, the money is available now - not necessarily later.

Thank you in advance.

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welcome to The forum!

Elevated field risers are a great accessory for a classroom, consider this thread: Team 3547: VIRUS Plans for Commercial Quality Field Risers, IQ and VRC

Also, a great resource for discussing robotics programs is the vex world coaches association on Facebook. This is a group of adult mentors, teachers, and coaches with lots of resources about building your robotics program. A search of that group will provide lots of ideas for the classroom.

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A suggestion: Use Torx (Star) screws from the start.
For most of my program, we used commercially available 8-32 Philips head screws. While these screws are affordable, they strip easily and are just harder to use than other options. This year, we switched to color-coded Torx screws from robosource.com. While they are a bit more expensive, they are well worth the extra cost and will pay for themselves when you don’t have to replace them frequently. They have low-profile heads and never strip. Robosource also sells some good tools for those screws (They are a T15 head) I like these ones: straight, ball head, T-handle.

The same goes for shaft collars. They have a much smaller head because they are enclosed in the collar. Vex sells these in 5/64 hex (276-2010) or T8 Torx (276-6103). I would strongly recommend the latter for the same reasons mentioned above although the problem is substantially more extreme with shaft collars. The hex collars strip practically instantly. Robosource sells T8’s for these too. I like this one.

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They are wonderful, roboteers can now identify the right size screw by color. It’s made a huge difference in the builds this season. Plus they look spiffy!

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FWIW the V5 kits all come with Torx screws as well, including the set screws for shaft collars - they’re not color coded but are still a huge improvement over the old hex screws, which seemed to strip every time I looked at them funny.

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Make sure that in this entire setup you leave room for kits to be built. A design process poster on a wall is also handy to look at. These are thing that have help my and others in the classrooms Ive been in

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Thanks for the replies. I definitely wouldn’t have known to think about those elements.

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Are there VEX resources that are tweaked to a VEX design process? I was planning on getting some large vinyls made that are (Ask -> Imagine -> -> PLan -> Create -> Improve) in a cycle.

I think PLTW has a poster, thats what my teachers have. It should be more similar since PLTW is a heavy VEX sponsor

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