Teaching VEX IQ (2nd generation) STEM Lab Units with VEXcode IQ Python

While VEX IQ (2nd gen) STEM Lab Units are written for use with the block-based coding in VEXcode IQ, they can be taught using Python as well. This article will cover the resources available to support teaching STEM Lab Units with Python in your classroom.

VEX IQ (2nd gen) STEM Lab Units follow the Learn - Practice - Compete format. To learn more about the format and implementing these Units in your classroom, see this article. The same process for implementing VEX IQ (2nd gen) STEM Lab Units can be followed regardless of the coding method.

Watch this video to learn more about the available Python resources and how they can be used with STEM Lab Units.

Unless otherwise noted, the following images and examples are taken from the Cube Collector STEM Lab Unit, but the same format can be found in all VEX IQ (2nd gen) STEM Lab Units.


Available Resources for Teaching Python with VEXcode IQ

Within VEX IQ (2nd gen) STEM Lab Units

Minor adjustments will need to be made to implement each Unit using Python, but those are all outlined in the Teacher Portal in the "VEXcode IQ Python Resources for this Unit" document. The various resources available to help you teach these Units with Python are shown below.

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In the Learn section, direct instruction videos are provided. Some of these videos are available for both Blocks and Python implementations. When both are available, ensure students know which of the videos to watch. Separate lesson summaries and check your understanding questions are available for each video so students only need to focus on the coding method chosen by the instructor. 

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Some videos have Blocks-specific instruction. For these videos, a lesson summary made for the related Python commands or concepts is included in the Teacher Portal of the Unit.

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Inside of the Teacher Portal is the "VEXcode IQ Python Resources for this Unit" document. This is an editable Google document that contains the Python versions of lesson summaries and check your understanding questions not included in the Unit content. You can make a copy of this document and distribute individual lesson summaries to students as needed when teaching the Unit with Python.

To learn more about customizing resources using Google Drive or Microsoft, see these articles.

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While the majority of Practice and Compete activities are written to be used with any coding method, there are some exceptions like in the Tug of War STEM Lab Unit (including the practice activity shown here). In this case, Python versions of the activities will also be included in the "VEXcode IQ Python Resources for this Unit" document. Similar to the lesson summaries, these can be distributed to students as needed during the Unit.

Within VEXcode IQ

Resources within VEXcode IQ can also help to support students as they complete STEM Lab Units using a Python project.

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As a new user to Python, it can be helpful to see the correlation between a block-based command and the Python equivalent. This can be done using the Code Viewer. See this article to learn more about the Code Viewer in VEXcode IQ.

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When students understand what commands they may need for their project, they can then begin to type them in the Workspace. The Autocomplete feature can help students minimize errors in their project and save time. To learn more about Autocomplete in a VEXcode IQ Python project, see this article.

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The Help is available to guide students through what a command does and the parameters needed for a command. To open the Help for a command, select the question mark next to any command in the Toolbox. For more information about accessing Help in a Python project, see this article.

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