Hello fellow educators,
I currently teach a Technology and Robotics course for eighth graders at our middle school. It is a one-semester class, offered both Fall and Spring. I was brainstorming ideas on how to supplement the pipeline to our high school team, and I stumbled upon the thought of transitioning the class to a competition team-based approach. I’ve already instituted the competition atmosphere in the classroom for the past six years, playing a version of the now-extinct VisualEdge’s Cone Zone, in which I give students about four to five weeks to create VEX Cortex robots to play the game.
If we move forward with a competitive team, I’m looking at the VEX IQ platform for it.
Have any of you taught a team in the classroom environment? What pieces of advice would you be willing to share? There are obvious issues with the class being offered both semesters; any insight on how to coordinate a team that essentially starts in January, with the final state qualifiers in late February?
The way our robot pipeline works now is Elementaries have after-school IQ teams, Middle School has an after-school FLL team and 2 sections of VEX-based class, the High School has FRC and uses V5 VEX in the PLTW courses.
Hi @mtaylor Our new STEM Labs for VEX IQ 2nd generation are all based on classroom competitions: IQ | VEX Education
In these STEM Labs, students will learn about how to best use their engineering notebook, collaborative decision making, the engineering design process, and more. This particular lab is one of my favorites: Up and Over | VEX Education
Some labs are more engineering focused, while other are more focused on coding – for example our castle crashers lab: Castle Crasher | VEX Education
There is also this article in the STEM Library that you may find helpful: https://kb.vex.com/hc/en-us/articles/4405085704212-Running-an-IQ-STEM-Lab-Challenge
I’m not sure which kits you’re using, but hopefully you’ll find these materials helpful.
Thanks for the links. I’ve used these - or versions of these - in the past, and I’m very impressed with the quality of the activities.
My idea is to move away from in-class competitions and transition to actual VIQC teams from a curricular classroom.
We have three levels of classes at our school. I teach semester classes of beginning (3 sections) and intermediate (2 sections) each semester and a colleague teaches a full year advanced class for our competition teams.
In Beginning, I teach the Vex Curriculum and follow that up with the Highrise, Next Level and Squared Away Challenges.
In Intermediate, I use Ringmaster, Crossover, Rise Above and Pitching In this year.
This appears to give our students a good background in a variety of challenges before they can be in the competition teams.
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