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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


Did you go through the online certification course for educators? It is free -

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