No idea which certification course to complete

I am teaching high school Robotics for basically the first time (I taught it last year but with COVID restrictions making the year what it was, I don’t really count it). I am wanting to start a teacher certification course so that I might be less painfully clueless this time around, but I have no idea what certification course to take.

Information:

*We have clawbots. I haven’t built one yet, but that is what we have.
*I teach high school, a mix of grades 9-12 and a big mix of experience–some students with NO experience, some who are fairly experienced with robotics and coding. However, last year my class was mostly 9th grade and mostly as clueless as myself.
*I would love something that is beginner friendly, but have some opportunity for more challenging tasks.
*I was also left with several 3D printers that the previous teacher used somehow. I have no idea as to how I would incorporate these into the robotics curriculum.

I have had IQ and V5 and Cortex recommended to me. It doesn’t look like there is a certification course for cortex, so I guess I will eliminate that from the running.

Questions:
*Which certification course will be best for my students?
*How are IQ and V5 different?
*What software will my students be required to have to do whatever they are supposed to do? How can I get this software for my students?
*Do either of these certifications come with a set curriculum that I can follow? I would really love something that lays it all out for me because, again, I am so clueless.

Any other advice for starting off when you know absolutely nothing about robotics would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi @estith From you post, I am inferring that you are using either VEX IQ or V5. Before I get into which one to choose, let me shed some light on the actual cert courses.

Here is a link to the VEX IQ educator certification course: https://certifications.vex.com/training/vex-iq/iq-educator-certification-course

The certification course is free, you just need a vex login. Here is a blog post that talks about the cert courses in detail: VEX Educator Blog

Yes, there is free curriculum. All of that is covered in the cert course. The link to our VEX IQ STEM Labs is here: https://education.vex.com/stemlabs/iq

There are free certifications, curriculum and ongoing support (via help.vex.com) for both V5 and IQ.

In terms of what to do, VEX IQ has a low barrier of entry, but a very high ceiling. Since you have many students with no experience, I would get started with it.

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Heyo! I’m not exactly a teacher per say myself (high school boi here) but here are my words of advice. Since you’re teaching High school Robotics I’ll assume your team is a VEX V5 team. In that case I would recommend theV5 Educator Certification Course . This course is an introduction to the V5 system, which will be helpful when beginning. VEX V5 is the system used by high school and university teams, while IQ is the system used by younger students. As a result, the V5 system is much more advanced in terms of capabilities and some of the features offered, but the V5 system shares robotics concepts used in IQ, so its more of a transition of systems moving from IQ to V5 for a IQ alumni.

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Thank you.

Looking at the V5 course, it says that you need the V5 Speedbot, and to purchase a V5 kit. We might have funds to purchase these kits, but they are sold out. We have 7 clawbot kits, though–will the V5 certification course still apply to the clawbots? Will the course be obsolete without a V5 Speedbot?

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You don’t really need a Speedbot imo. I don’t remember the certification having anything that needed Speedbot ki-specific things. Here are the building instructions, since I think you already have the parts.

@estith are you using V5 for a classroom setting or looking to enter into the VEX Robotics Competition?

Classroom setting. However, I think we will also have a robotics team for a competition in the spring time–not entirely sure honestly.

Do you have V5 kits or V4 (cortex) kits at your school?

Depending on the answer, more tailored answers can be made.

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I don’t know. How do I find that out? All I know is that we have clawbots. I don’t think they are new—purchased maybe 3-5 years ago is my guess. So I would guess it is not V5 if that is the newest.

Can you post a quick picture of what you have, then we will all know for sure

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V5 motors look like this:
image
They were announced in 2017 and released in 2018 for Turning point (that season’s game).

V4 motors look like this:
image
They have been around for ages (practically since the 1st few VRC games).

The V5 brain is black, and has a touchscreen. The V4 brain does not have a touchscreen and is grey/white.

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Easier to identify clawbots:

VEX V4 Cortex ClawBot:

V5 ClawBot:

VEX IQ ClawBot:

For all of these to look for courseware go to education.vex.com

V5 STEM labs you will find support for V5 and a link to Legacy curriculum for V4 Cortex:
https://education.vex.com/stemlabs/v5

If you have V4 or V5 in HS, I would take the V5 certification and adapt as needed.

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I’ve really wanted to take the Carnegie Mellon Robot Academy classes. Anybody have any experience with those. They have some online ones this summer.

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You might want to also invest time in a beginning Python class and or a blockly class. I wouldn’t worry about either one being directed to VEX robotics specifically. Knowing a block language (Scratch, Blockly, etc.) gives you the basics and lets you get used to basic blocks, flow control, etc. in the language. It’s easy to drag motors, sensors and controllers after that.

Likewise a beginner Python class will get you running with the basics of syntax, flow control, etc. Then, like the blocks you are just adding the function calls for motors, etc.

My preference is to use Python over C++. There are lots of other cross curriculum items that use Python (Raspberry Pi, all of Ada fruit products, etc. ) that makes it worthwhile to learn. Once you pick up the 9 statements you need, then all you are doing from platform to platform is changing what functions you call to connect to the external devices.

Not saying that C++ doesn’t have it’s place, but in 2021 Python gives you more bang for your efforts.

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