The 5 Pillars of VEX are the five types of support provided to help you implement VEX with your students. The 5 Pillars of VEX are Curriculum, Professional Development, VEXcode, Competition, and the VEX Library. These resources can be used together in ways that fit your needs, in both formal and informal educational settings, to give you exactly the kind of support you need to teach STEM with VEX in your learning environment.

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Curriculum

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Whether you are teaching Educational Robotics every day, teaching a weekly STEM Class, or offering a robotics summer camp for a few days, VEX has free instructional materials for you. VEX curriculum options include in-depth STEM Labs — plug-in curriculum units that provide easy-to-follow lessons built around a unit theme with real-world applications, and Activities — shorter projects and investigations that students can complete with their VEX materials. Activities are student-facing so students can work independently and are perfect to use in conjunction with STEM Labs or as a learning center resource. VEX curriculum materials are designed to be used in a variety of ways to provide you with options to pick and choose the teaching resources that fit your needs and student interests.

In addition to curriculum materials, VEX provides all the implementation tools that you need to facilitate STEM Labs or Activities with your students. The Teacher Resource page for each platform in the VEX Continuum contains pacing guides, standards alignment, and other documents to help you plan and organize your lessons. Teaching support is also built into each STEM Lab which provides information and facilitation strategies that you can access quickly and easily. Go to education.vex.com for more information and to access free curriculum materials for every platform in the VEX Continuum.


Professional Development

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VEX Robotics offers comprehensive professional development resources available on pd.vex.com. VEX’s Professional Development Plus (PD+) platform is your destination for a wealth of resources designed to empower educators in the world of STEM. The VEX PD+ platform offers two tiers - a free tier and an All-Access paid tier.

The VEX PD+ free tier includes access to:

  • Intro Courses: These self-paced online courses provide training on each VEX platform. Each course contains formative assessment and tracks your progress, making it easy for you to check your understanding and complete the course at your own pace. Once you become certified, you gain access to the VEX Professional Learning Community (PLC).
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC): Join a network of global educators and VEX Experts, where you can learn, share, and benefit from a wealth of shared experiences. This is your virtual Teacher’s Lounge, where you can have meaningful dialogue, share expertise, ask questions, and work collaboratively to improve your STEM teaching and learning.

The VEX PD+ paid tier (All-Access) includes access to:

  • 1-1 Sessions: Schedule a 1-1 session with a VEX expert, get guidance and support tailored to your needs.
  • VEX Masterclasses: Video-based, expert-led courses that range from introductory ‘Getting Started’ courses to more advanced and pedagogy focused courses.
  • Live Sessions: Thematic, hour-long, expert-led sessions that provide insights and practical takeaways about teaching with VEX.
  • VEX Video Library: Access to hundreds of videos across a variety of topics and VEX platforms, available anytime and from anywhere.
  • VEX Robotics Educators Conference: An annual conference that brings the VEX PD+ Community together for in-person, hands-on learning, inspiring keynotes, and learning sessions with VEX education experts.

Every user will also have access to their own dashboard, which includes a tour of all the VEX PD+ features, allowing them to get started easily. We are continuously updating PD+ with new materials, ensuring our platform remains a rich, dynamic resource for our educators.

We are here to support you on your professional journey. If you have any questions, or feedback, you can use the feedback tool in VEX PD+. We're excited for you to explore, learn, and connect.


VEXcode

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VEXcode is the coding environment that is used to code your robots in VEX. VEXcode meets students at their level and grows with them as their coding proficiency grows. The intuitive layout of VEXcode allows students to get started quickly and easily, and the interface is consistent through all VEX platforms. As students progress from elementary, middle, and high school, they don’t have to learn a new interface. The way you create, save, and share a project is the same across all platforms. The layout of the built-in resources such as the Help Feature, Tutorial Videos, and Example Projects are also the same across all platforms so that you do not have to reteach how to use these resources. Teaching can focus on the big ideas in Computer Science, while students focus on creating with technology, not trying to navigate a new coding environment.

VEXcode’s Block-based interface is intuitive and accessible for those new to coding. Students use a simple drag and drop interface to create functioning projects that get their robot up and running quickly. Once students are ready to transition from Block-based to Text-based coding, they can use the built-in tools in VEXcode to guide them. Students can also create Text-based projects and build their code in C++ and Python. VEXcode has a low barrier of entry and a high ceiling for the possibilities of what you can do with it. You can find more information on the VEXcode Overview page.


Competitions

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At VEX we are proud to host the world’s largest in-person educational robotics competition and the world’s largest virtual robotics competition where thousands of students participate each year. Competitions drive the excitement and enthusiasm that we want our students to have for STEM. Competitions provide opportunities to implement STEM in both Schools and in informal education settings increasing access and opportunities for students to participate in STEM activities.

Competitions foster collaborative problem solving where students bring their skillset together with their team to cooperate in order to compete. Through competitions, students form authentic collaborations and take ownership of their learning as they design and build their own robots and prepare to compete. It is their robot and their game strategy. You can find more information on competitions at vex.competitions.com.


VEX Library

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The VEX Library is an online library of everything VEX with over 700 articles that provide information to help you implement VEX in your learning environment. Articles cover a wide variety of topics ranging from targeted step-by-step guides to help you set up and use VEX materials such as how to build a drivetrain for your IQ robot or pair your robot with VEXcode — to more complex articles on teaching strategies and the research that drives our curriculum.

The VEX Library is organized by platform and subject so that you can find information while you are working with students. We want to make sure that you have everything you need to implement any of the VEX Platforms. Access the VEX Library at help.vex.com.

Each of the 5 Pillars of VEX — Curriculum, Professional Development, VEXcode, Competitions, and the VEX Library represents a type of support that you have at your fingertips across the VEX Continuum to help you feel confident and empowered as you teach STEM with the VEX.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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