Welcome to teachVR.vex.com!
There are a number of ways that you can bring coding to life for your students with VEXcode VR. This page is a hub of resources that you can use as you begin teaching with VEXcode VR, and return to later to learn more. Here to help you take the guesswork out of teaching with VEXcode VR, teachVR.vex.com is a support for you as you continue to grow and learn on your teaching journey.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was faced with teaching a combined fourth and fifth grade classroom operating on a hybrid schedule. My students loved learning STEM with VEX GO when they were in person, but that was only every other day. Fortunately, I was able to add VEXcode VR to our curriculum, and students could continue learning computer science from home in a fun and engaging way. Despite the challenging schedule, my fourth and fifth graders were able to have productive and meaningful computer science learning experiences thanks to VEXcode VR. My students enjoyed coding the VR robot so much that it has remained a vital part of our robotics and STEM curriculum to this day!
former classroom teacher
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Introducing VEXcode VR!
Born out of a pandemic need when physical robots were not an option for many students, VEXcode VR has grown to become a core component of robotics and computer science classes around the world. With VEXcode VR, students code Virtual Robots (VR) in immersive and engaging Playgrounds to learn and practice computer science concepts and supplement what they are doing and learning with physical robots.
Coding anytime, anywhere
Using a web-based platform with no student accounts or installations required, you can code a VR Robot and see it move in seconds! Over 15 immersive, 3D Playgrounds bring coding challenges to life for students, motivating them to keep learning, experimenting, and problem solving even after class has ended. VEXcode VR Enhanced and Premium offer even more Playgrounds, enhanced graphics, and greater robot capabilities to take student engagement even further.
Same VEXcode, new challenges
Because it’s based in VEXcode, the skills students have learned in other VEX platforms transfers easily to VR, and can be built upon through coding Virtual Robots. Students can grow from block-based to text-based coding with Python capability in VEXcode VR Enhanced and Premium.
Sharing made simple
Students can download and share their projects, offering teachers a way to see what students are doing behind their screens. This gets even easier with VEXcode VR Enhanced and Premium, where Dropbox and Google Drive sharing capabilities—and extra class organizational tools—are available.
Something for everyone
From navigating a maze to crashing a castle; coding a underwater ocean cleaning robot to drawing artwork with the VR Robot pen; and moving magnetic disks to creating constellations, VEXcode VR has Playgrounds and coding challenges for every student, no matter what their interest or experience level.
Engage Students from the Start
Getting started is as easy as typing vr.vex.com into your browser. With no login required, students can immediately begin coding!
Easy to start, easy to use
A Tutorial video viewable upon launch gives a quick overview of how to use VEXcode VR. Students can watch the Get Started video and make their VR Robot move in minutes!
See your robot move immediately
Build your project and watch it run with the press of a button. No downloading, wires, or compiler errors involved. Does your project run as intended? Press Start to find out! Then add, edit, and iterate on your project with ease.
Make the invisible visible
View sensor data in real time with features like the Dashboard. With visibility of abstract concepts like decision making, students have a window to better understand how their code connects to robot behaviors.
Read this Insights article to learn more about how VEXcode VR supports student engagement. Insights is part of VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+), along with a wealth of other professional development resources. Like what you see? PD+ is included with a VEXcode VR Premium subscription.
Curricular Resources at Your Fingertips
Whether you are teaching beginners or experienced coders, VEXcode VR curricular resources will help you shape your class in the way that best meets the needs of your students.
VEXcode VR Activities are simple, student-facing, editable Google Docs that offer a coding challenge with scaffolded levels of exploration.
With filters for difficulty level, category, and Playground, finding an Activity for your students is easier than ever. Subject area tags make cross-curricular connections visible, so you can confidently and comfortably infuse computer science into your classroom.
The Computer Science Level 1 Blocks and Python courses offer longer, more comprehensive, and highly scaffolded instruction that can be taught in a variety of ways. Both courses give students a solid foundation in coding with either VEXcode VR Blocks or Python, while teaching coding concepts—from Drivetrain commands to building algorithms—through coding challenges with virtual robots.
Scopes and Sequences
These curated scope and sequences offer 9 week implementations to help you plan your teaching with VEXcode VR courses and Activities.
VEXcode VR is Versatile
The depth and breadth of Playgrounds, curricular options, and coding challenges makes VEXcode VR a versatile classroom tool. Whether you are looking to foreground coding concepts before building physical robots, differentiate teaching of coding concepts for reteaching or acceleration, give students extra practice outside of class, blend VR with physical robots in cohort groups, or use computer science to expand a class project, there is a way to do all of this and more. Learn more about how teachers are bringing VEXcode VR into their classrooms to make their teaching easier and more engaging for students.
Select a tab below to see a teacher’s story about blending VEXcode VR into their teaching, and get a clearer picture of the possibilities that VEXcode VR offers to make teaching and learning robotics and computer science more effective and engaging.
Making real world connections through VR
Meredith is a 4th grade teacher who has been teaching with VEX GO in her classroom. Her students engaged with building robots, but were even more excited about learning to code the Code Base. Meredith taught the Ocean Emergency STEM Lab Unit, tying it into their ocean life science unit. Her students were not only engrossed in the coding challenges, but were fascinated by the idea of real ocean cleaning robots! Meredith used this to extend their studies, developing a project around ocean pollution, ecology, and real-world solutions. Her project plan included the Coral Reef Cleanup VEXcode VR Activity to to extend what students were learning about coding and connect it to their project.;
Building on the Ocean Emergency STEM Lab, students created new and inventive solutions to clean up the coral reef with their virtual robots! Meredith used the Coral Reef Cleanup Activity to teach her students about loops, sensors, and algorithms—connecting their projects to the ongoing real-world issues of cleaning trash from the oceans. They kept a tally of how much trash they had collected, and set a class goal to collect more and more by the end of the year. Because VEXcode VR could be used at home, students shared their projects with families and parents began to ask if they too could contribute to the challenge goal! Not only did VEXcode VR enable students to learn about new coding concepts, but Meredith used it to capitalize on students’ engagement in real-world issues, opening their eyes to the STEM careers and solutions that are happening around them.
From reteaching to accelerating learning with VR
Tom has been teaching Intro to Robotics to his 7th and 8th grade students using VEX IQ for several years. He loves how the hands-on nature of VEX IQ promotes collaboration and engagement among his students. Most students were new to building in this way, so it created a natural community of learners within his classes. When it came to coding, however, he found that each year his students seemed to have a wider range of experience and prior knowledge. As a result, he spent more and more time trying to find ways to differentiate his instruction to accommodate reteaching concepts while also extending challenges for his more advanced students. Trying to do this with one set of IQ robots proved difficult, but with VEXcode VR, Tom found that he could have students working in the same Playground, but at the level that they needed—making his differentiation plan much simpler.
When it came time to teach the Treasure Hunt STEM Lab Unit, Tom could insert VEXcode VR Activities to augment his instruction seamlessly. After each Lesson in the Unit, Tom added VEXcode VR into his lesson plan. For his students who needed reteaching, he assigned Level 1 of a related Activity for extra practice; for the students who needed additional challenges, Levels 2 or 3 of the same Activity extended their learning. Since the whole class was working in the same Playground, they could seek each other out more easily to ask questions and collaborate, and working in VEXcode meant what they learned with the virtual robot could easily be transferred to the physical ones. Not only did Tom’s planning time decrease, but his students’ engagement grew as well!
Foregrounding coding concepts with VR
Gayle is a high school science teacher who teaches a Robotics and Computer Science elective class each semester. Since it is an elective class, the students who take the course are highly engaged and motivated, and eager to get their hands on the VEX EXP Kits to build and modify their robots. She found that sometimes it was difficult to get students to focus conceptually on their code when they were more distracted or interested in the engineering component of a Lab. To help ground students in coding concepts before beginning to build, Gayle began using VEXcode VR at the start of each semester. By beginning with the coding, she could make sure that her students had a shared understanding of foundational concepts that she could then refer back to throughout the semester.
Using the Computer Science Level 1 course, Gayle had students read the course materials for homework, then discuss and engage in the challenges and Activities during class time. This gave students a chance to come to class ready with questions so that their class time could be focused on conceptual learning and engaging coding challenges. Students worked in pairs on class coding activities, and Gayle supplemented with different levels of VR Activities as needed for students ready for an extra challenge. The pair programming dynamic helped to establish collaborative decision making routines that could be built upon throughout the course. When students moved into coding their EXP robots, Gayle found them revisiting the work they had done in VEXcode VR to help them problem solve. Seeing students working together on both building and coding, Gayle realized firsthand the value of grounding her coding instruction with virtual robots and growing into EXP
“Taking robots home” with VR
Raj is a middle grades STEM teacher, and sees students in grades 3-6 twice a week for a STEM Specials class. Beginning with VEX GO in 3rd grade, and transitioning to VEX IQ in 5th grade, Raj has seen students’ engagement and excitement around robotics grow dramatically over time. Students ask nearly every day to stay longer, or come by after school, or to take a robot home—and Raj knew this motivation was something that he could capitalize on to extend students’ learning. Raj introduced all of his students to VEXcode VR as a way to engage with coding both in class and outside of class time.
Since his students were already comfortable with VEXcode, using the virtual robot was not difficult. The immediate feedback of the virtual robot was even preferable for some students, who struggled with the patience needed to code the physical robot. Raj began by introducing a VR Challenge to his students; he posted and shared a VR Activity, and students worked on it over a two-week period as part of their Choice Board activities, after school, or at home. They shared their projects with Raj, and he posted them on the Challenge board for others to see. Throughout the weeks he saw students referencing projects that were on the wall, or asking Raj to see the projects in VR, so they could see how they worked. Over time, Raj began to see and hear students within and across grade levels talking to each other about coding concepts in the hallways, cafeteria, and during robotics club time. Other teachers were also asking about the projects, and were curious about how they could incorporate coding into other subject areas. Parent engagement in what students were doing in his class grew as well, because they now had firsthand knowledge of their students’ learning.
Extending the use of VEX Kits through VR
Steph teaches robotics and computer science in a junior-senior high school. Using VEX IQ and VEX EXP, Steph is able to teach multiple classes with the same robots throughout the day; however, the constraint of available kits often keeps students from fully exploring coding concepts in the ways that Steph would like them to. Steph began using VEXcode VR to augment the curriculum, giving students an opportunity to stretch their engagement and learning through virtual robots in addition to their physical robots.
Steph created virtual and physical robot cohort groups that allowed her to teach coding concepts for each group more deeply. Students had additional opportunities to revisit concepts, practice what they were learning, and extend their knowledge through extra challenges using either VEXcode VR or the physical robots. Using the 1:1 Pacing Guides, Steph aligned VEXcode VR Activities with STEM Lab Units so students learned similar concepts across all classes—they just alternated the format in which they worked. Students either used VR first and then switched to physical robots, or vice versa. Working in this way helped to grow Steph’s own teaching practice, essentially having multiple chances to teach the same content back to back, and using students’ experiences to directly inform teaching across classes.
Connecting VR and other VEX Platforms
VEX 1:1 Pacing Guides identify common concepts between STEM Lab Units and VR Activities, offering clear pathways to extend student learning and engagement with VEXcode VR. The 1:1 Pacing Guides take the guesswork out of bringing VEXcode VR into your classroom by showing you how to supplement what you are already doing with VEX robotics with the added benefit of VEXcode VR.
See how VEXcode VR can supplement physical robots in your setting with the 1:1 Pacing Guides.
- VEX GO 1:1 Pacing Guide
- VEX IQ (1st generation) 1:1 Pacing Guide
- VEX IQ (2nd generation) 1:1 Pacing Guide
- VEX EXP 1:1 Pacing Guide
Teacher Supports for VEXcode VR
VEXcode VR includes a number of resources to help as you teach with virtual robots in your setting.
- Solutions for Activities and Course Challenges – All Activities and Course Challenges have sample solutions so you have a starting point for assessing students’ projects. There are many ways to solve a challenge, but solution files will offer one example of a successful project for each level of the Activity or Course Challenge. Get the Solutions in the VEXcode VR Teacher Portal.
- Project sharing and class organization – VEXcode VR Enhanced and Premium offer the ability to connect to Google Drive and Dropbox, to make your students’ project organization easier than ever before. Learn more about sharing files in this article.
- Organize class use of VEXcode VR – Assign students a class code so that their project files are automatically sorted for you based on your sharing preferences. Learn more about class codes in this article.
- Free Educator Certification Course – Learn computer science with VEXcode VR as you prepare to teach, with the Computer Science Level 1 Educator Certification courses. Complete the same activities as your students, with extra educator notes along the way. View the Certification courses.
- Take your learning even further with PD+ – VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+) lets you expand your knowledge and connect with other VEX educators around the world for ongoing, personalized professional development year round. PD+ is included with VEXcode VR Premium, or you can subscribe separately. PD+ offers resources and Community connections for all VEX platforms.
Embedded resources in VEXcode VR
Tutorials, example projects, and the built-in Help offer students multiple avenues to answer questions, troubleshoot a project, or problem solve a solution as they are working in VEXcode VR. This helps teachers remain facilitators of learning, and help students gain independence and agency over their learning.
- Tutorials are short videos that open and play within VEXcode VR and cover a range of topics about how to navigate and use VEXcode VR.
- View this article to learn more about viewing Tutorials in VEXcode VR
- Example Projects are sample VEXcode VR projects that can be run to show a particular coding concept or challenge feature. Students can open and run an example project, observe the VR Robot, then modify the example project to make it their own.
- View this article to learn about using Example Blocks Projects
- View this article to learn about using Example Python Projects
- Help explains what each command in the Toolbox does, in a popup format in the workspace. The Help is a great resource to use with students to further explore a command and how it can be used in a project.
- View this article to learn about accessing Help in a Blocks Project
- View this article to learn about accessing Help in a Python Project
Research Based, Standards Aligned
Developed by teachers for teachers, VEXcode VR offers research-based and standards-aligned curricular resources so that you can teach with confidence.
Supported by educational research
VEXcode VR was born out of a pandemic need, when physical robots were not an option for many students. Since its inception, VEXcode VR has grown and continues to offer teachers and students a strong supplemental resource to broaden their robotics and computer science curricula in many different educational settings. Learn more about how teachers have used VEXcode VR with their students:
- Read about Teaching and Learning Computer Science with VEXcode VR
- Read about Insights and Implications from a School Implementation
- Read about Learning Programming Anywhere with VEXcode VR
Aligned to standards
All VEXcode VR curricular resources are aligned to standards. You can view standards alignment by country for both the Computer Science Level 1 Course and VR Activities.
The content and resources on this page are a ‘home base’ for you on your teaching journey with VEXcode VR. This page is just an introduction, and is by no means an exhaustive list of all that is on offer within VEXcode VR. From here, you can continue your teaching journey on the path of your choice.
- Learn about VEXcode VR Enhanced and Premium
- cs.vex.com - View all of the curricular resources for VEXcode VR
- help.vex.com - Explore the VEX Library to learn more about using and teaching VEXcode VR
- certifications.vex.com - Complete the Computer Science Level 1 Blocks or Python Educator Certification Course
- pd.vex.com - Engage with VEXcode VR educators worldwide in the Community, watch videos to grow your knowledge and teaching practice with VEXcode VR, and more
- support.vex.com - Visit support.vex.com for additional customer support