Using VEX GO in your Learning Environment
What is VEX GO?
- Teacher Resources - Value Slides
- Go here to learn about why VEX GO is such a valuable addition to your classroom or learning environment. Resources like this are designed to provide you with the structure and support necessary to integrate STEM into your learning environment. We’ve tried to provide you with everything you need - from a novice teacher bringing technology and innovation to their schools to a more experienced teacher creating a 21st Century classroom.
Who is it for?
- Classroom Teacher
- An elementary teacher can encourage STEM learning through hands-on step by step lessons, interactive learning centers, and independent activities that spur investigation, curiosity, and creativity using VEX GO.
- STEM/STEAM Teacher
- Implement Computer Science principles from CSTA and ISTE standards in a classroom for an entire year using the VEX GO STEM Labs. Teachers have access to the step by step lessons that encourage collaboration, interdisciplinary learning, and feature real world activities. VEX GO also features additional activities for students to enrich their STEM learning.
- STEM Coordinator/Administrator
- A STEM coordinator or an administrator can build a continuum from K-12 which will impact a school’s STEM program and their professional development. STEM Coordinators can use VEX GO as a tool to expand and instill STEM values into their current curriculum in addition to a resource for teachers to impact their classroom. VEX GO is also a part of the VEX K-12 STEM continuum. This allows schools to both vertically and horizontally align their STEM goals. Students can grow their STEM skills and competencies year after year - as the students grow, the products in the VEX continuum grow. Also, because teachers are all working within the same continuum, they can effectively collaborate and plan for the success of all of their students.
- A makerspace educator can use VEX GO in a variety of ways due to its flexibility. The STEM Units can offer support to design and create projects in the makerspace in subjects such as science, math, engineering, simple machines, and more. VEX GO offers open-ended design opportunities through activities and builds to engage any student in a makerspace. VEX GO gives support to the educator through online professional development, teacher notes, and teacher resources, all designed to allow flexibility for use in a lesson or as supplemental material for any activity.
- VEX GO gives librarians support to easily get started teaching technology. With portable storage, quick and easy builds, and troubleshooting tools such as the pin puller, VEX GO gives librarians an essential STEM tool to easily implement in any library. VEX GO provides librarians with support through professional development, teacher notes, and step by step lesson plans to implement the multitude of different STEM Units, enrichment activities, open-ended activities, and design challenges. By committing step by step guidance, VEX GO is a resource for any librarian looking to strengthen the curriculum in their 21st Century library.
- Afterschool Club
- VEX GO fits into any afterschool club or program by giving students the ability to explore and collaborate on STEM Labs and independent activities. Through these engaging activities, students are actively engaged in testing out and designing challenges that relate back to interdisciplinary subjects such as science, math, and reading in addition to concepts in engineering and design theory.
- Summer Camp
- VEX GO offers a summer camp with a wide variety and collection of activities. With STEM Labs, center activities, independent activities, and open-ended challenges, VEX GO offers flexibility to a summer camp looking for a wide variety of content to fit into a longer course. VEX GO can be used at a summer camp to teach children about coding, engineering, simple machines, and a multitude of different subjects.
- VEX GO gives exceptional support to homeschool families. VEX GO’s flexibility easily allows any parent to get started right away teaching concepts such as coding, engineering, or simple machines. VEX GO gives students the opportunity to program, explore, and engage in STEM activities with the help of their teacher or independently using STEM Labs and enrichment activities.
Is it easy to get started?
- Yes - Here’s Why
- Three easy steps to start with VEX GO. First, unpack VEX GO. Second, look at the STEM Labs. Third, gather materials. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. You need to spend no more than 5 minutes unpacking, looking at the teacher resources in the STEM Labs, and then beginning your lesson.
Which STEM Labs are for me?
- Teacher Resources - Pacing Guide
- Teachers and schools desire a plan for instruction that aligns with their goals. Check out our recommendations for pacing instruction based on the school calendar, the classroom schedule, and student learning needs.
When can I use the STEM Labs?
- Lesson-aligned practice
- Each STEM Lab can be taught in a long or short format that directly aligns to Common Core ELA and Math and NGSS standards. STEM Lab implementation takes minutes to engage and propel any science, math, ELA or social studies lesson!
- Topic review
- With STEM topics in a wide range of subjects such as science, math, engineering and ELA, each STEM Lab or mini-activity can supplement a rich school curriculum with assessment and engaging review for students of all ages. With a multitude of activities and practice, students can personalize their learning with choiceboard activities and exciting experiences to build, learn, and play.
- Present students with engaging activities that can be used in a small group or independently to strengthen problem solving skills. In addition to problem solving, empower students with computational thinking skills using authentic learning that dives into subjects such as ELA, math, science, and engineering.
- Personalized Learning
- Sharpen students skills through a VEX GO Choiceboard in each STEM Unit that allows students to choose their own learning path beyond the teacher-directed lesson.
How do I implement the STEM Labs?
- Teacher Resources - Implementation Guide
- This guide will show you how quickly and easily you can begin teaching a STEM Lab. The Implementation Guide gives you step by step guidance on how to get started teaching STEM in your classroom.
What is the structure and duration of the STEM Labs?
- Unit Overview (Engage, Play, Share)
- Each unit presents students with a building experience during a hands-on Engage section, then explore during the Play section Part 1 and Part 2 allowing for team collaboration and authentic problem solving and then finally students can make their learning visible during the Share section.
- Verbs - Play & engage section
- Each Engage and Play section gives the teacher support and scaffolding to allow students to implement each STEM Lab to its full extent. Consistent layout with verbs such as instruct, and facilitate allows teachers to feel at ease with the common structure for lesson planning and scaffolding to teach each STEM Lab.
What student materials do I need?
- Teacher Resources - Materials list
- A list of all the materials for your classroom that will be needed for your classroom to implement the VEX GO STEM Labs, Mini-Lessons, and activities.
- VEX GO - Recommendations
- Two students per VEX GO Kit is recommended for both collaboration and student learning. At most, no more than 4 students can work as a team together with a VEX GO Kit.
What resources do I have to help me teach?
- Slides offer teachers resources to show students visual representations and background knowledge. This slide deck also offers teachers and students to learn on the same page through guided visual images and build instructions.
- Teacher Notes
- Vocabulary allows teachers to emphasize and use in a real world context using different activities, classroom suggestions, and strategies to implement vocabulary at its highest level.
- Acts/Asks walks a teacher step by step in the Engage and Play sections for easy implementation. Acts/Asks allows teachers to feel supported in questioning strategies, and how to demonstrate STEM topics such as motion and force.
- Troubleshooting presents tips and tricks from elementary school teachers who give their own first-hand experience implementing the STEM Labs.
- Each STEM Lab displays graphics and animations that allow students and teachers to be on the same page and easily understand the desired result of a lesson or challenge. By allowing for both teachers and students to be on the same page visually, the VEX GO animations and graphics provide easy implementation of each STEM Lab and activity.
How do I assess the students?
- Present and determine student growth through digital documentation examples, student-driven visible thinking strategies, and metacognition-reflection questions that offer questions in observing, predicting, and collaborating.
Is it aligned to standards?
How do I communicate with parents?
- Letter Home
- A Letter Home connects and strengthens the relationship between the parent and child with questions and vocabulary to implore conversations about Computer Science and STEM in relation to all of the VEX GO activities.
Which STEM Lab Unit should I get started with?
- Pacing Guide.
- Teachers and schools desire a plan for instruction that aligns with their instructional goals. Check out our recommendations for pacing instruction based on the school calendar, the classroom schedule, and student learning needs. The pacing guide allows you to see how you can organize STEM Lab Units based on your focus. For example, if you want to focus on Math, the pacing guide shows which STEM Lab Units can be utilized.
- Getting started is easy.
- STEM Labs are designed to be supplemental educational resources. Therefore, each STEM Lab Unit can stand alone - they do not have to be done in a prescribed sequence. Additionally, every STEM Lab within a unit does not have to be completed. This allows STEM Labs to easily be integrated into any educational setting.
- Introduction to Building.
- If you want to get students started building with VEX GO, this is a great unit to begin with. In this unit, students will explore the VEX GO Kit to learn the names and functions of key pieces by building structures to take on a voyage to Mars!
- Introduction to Coding.
- If you want to get students started coding, this unit is a great place to start. Students will get an explorative experience coding with a hands-on robot.