What does the ideal classroom do?

Do you use the curriculum that comes with vex? Do you just start with a clawbot then make your way to competition?

Students, what would your ideal classroom situation? What does your teacher do that you like or don’t like? I’m not talking about their personalities, but how they go about teaching vex!

I may have an opportunity coming up and I’m curious about what works, other than just being awesome.

well, letting us do the most on our own as possible is good, or maybe let the more advanced students start on competition bots while the new students get suited with working with vex parts.

I learned in a pretty self-paced environment. There was a custom curriculum with a bunch of basic builds. (Worm&wheel, cam&follower, bevel gears, etc.)
The most I use any of those things was in gear trains and chaining sprockets. It was a really basic entry-level class. I learned the rest (DR4B, chain bar, cascade lift, etc.) completely alone. I would have liked a progression of courses leading to higher and more difficult builds, rather than topping out at a 4 bar and compound gearings. A competition environment isn’t always the best for everyone. I would take the top students in each section to form a team or two, and teach them along the way.

My school has the engineering classes where we build competition robots and you have to be a junior or senior to be in it. There is robotics club which also competes and any high schooler can be in it. The robotics class doesn’t compete, and I think the way it works is the teacher has the students build different subsystems throughout the year (Gear boxes, drive trains, lifts, etc.) and then at the end of the year if there is time I think they build a complete robot.

Our robotics class you start by building a square bot and using that to learn how to program by having some challenges like a maze, then there are just challenges and the students build whatever they want to complete them

Got A Screw Loose - do you happen to know what the custom curriculum is? We are doing the V5 labs and the RobotMesh activities. Does anyone recommend a book for the classroom? I look forward to meeting other teachers at competition this weekend to see how they run their classrooms. I have 4 robots for a class of 25 - I need more ideas!

I think it was just a system our teacher desinged. Or maybe something he took from another teacher. I’ll ask him about it next week when I see him again.
It’’s basically a series of simple mechanisms followed by a very simple PLTW RobotC course. Then there are challenges at the end of each unit, such as a windmill, pull-toy, stoplight, rotating bridge, and dragster.

Please share!

Did you go through all of the Robot Mesh activities and need more? By the time students go through this curriculum, they should know how to program the motors and all the sensors (at least, when I get the line following unit done…), but have done little construction. My advice would be to grab some stuff and design a robot game that the students play. It’s amazing what you can use for a game with a little creativity. And Freeze Tag and robot Sumo are both good, simple games.

we have a new robotics program this year.The main way that the classes work is that you play a alternate game with the previous years game pieces or you just do the standard game from the previous years.You basically get the choice to build what you want to compete with off of a pre-built drive train.This is a new program that doesn’t officially have classes though.Also it is based off the IQ platform because we have limited parts for vrc.