First Week Activities

Hi everyone,
I am a brand new teacher to Robotics (VEX V5) this year and was hoping to get some ideas for the first couple days of class. I was thinking of creating a scavenger hunt type activity on the first day where the the students have to find and name random parts around the room. Does anyone have any other ideas/advice to share - I appreciate any input or suggestions! Thank you!

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hello! welcome to the vex community.

If the students are new to vex, I would recommend starting off building a v5 clawbot, just to get them in the groove of things.

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If they are new students to vex, have them either build a clawbot or design their own robot if they’re up to the challenge. If they have experience, show them where the parts are and watch the magic happen.

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Which set did you purchase, there are certain robots which certain sets can build.

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Have kids build a frame with four independent wheels (no long shafts to couple wheels together) that can roll as far as possible in a straight line. Typically, it takes students a lot of iterations to figure out how to make a square frame and reduce friction as much as possible. We have a 2’x4’ sheet for the ramp. Tiled floors are good for measuring in 1’ increments. Once they perfect the techniques, they get about 40-50’ rolls.

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I’m on board the scavenger hunt idea, just make sure that you get all the parts back because that stuff doesn’t come cheap!
But I agree, the students should probably learn what each piece is called

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We have the V5 kits with lots of extra parts.

Is this kind of like the Robo Rally activity from the curriculum given on the VEX website?

Nope, a home-brew exercise I give all my competition teams before they can even use motors. It focuses the teams on build quality and good basic design process. A very simple goal, not a lot of overhead in terms of time. It gives me the opportunity to see the kids collaboration skills in action. Simple, effective diagnostics about a team’s future together.

I like this, it seems like a simpler task for the students than building the clawbot straight away. Do you follow the EDR curriculum given on the VEX website?

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Well, I have four audiences:

  1. after school beginners club - meets twice a week
  2. after school competition teams - meets almost daily
  3. 7th grade in-school robotics - meets three times a six day cycle for a trimester
  4. 8th grade math enrichment - meets twice a six day cycle year long

Needless to say - we adapt from a number of sources. Will be doing a lot with STEM Labs this year - allows kids to be self-paced and interact with robots in different ways. It is middle school setting.

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Did you go through the online certification course for educators? It is free - certifications.vex.com

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