Welcome to teachIQ.vex.com!
As a former informal educator, I have always loved watching students being truly engaged by the content in front of them. The classroom competition curriculum of VEX IQ brings all of that excitement into the classroom. Classroom competitions allow students to take ownership of their learning as they explore engineering, coding, competitions, and more. Students are challenged to work as a team and make decisions collaboratively, which is a fantastic skill that many adults still struggle with today.
This page is designed to be your personal walkthrough of the VEX IQ curriculum and all of the accompanying resources that will make you and your students successful. This content was written by teachers for teachers because we have been in your shoes in the classroom.
I cannot wait to see what you do with VEX IQ in your classroom!
Senior Education Developer, VEX Robotics
VEX IQ STEM Lab Units are lessons that can be incorporated into your existing curriculum to create unique, extended learning experiences. STEM Lab Units bring the excitement of a competition to your classroom while promoting collaboration and exploratory learning. VEX IQ Activities offer more ways to engage with the VEX IQ (2nd generation) Kit, providing simple one-page exercises that blend STEM concepts with curricular content in fun and engaging ways.
Units and Activities can be used individually or combined to create a customized, hands-on learning experience in your classroom. Pacing guides are available to fit your needs as you get started teaching VEX IQ in your classroom.
To learn more about VEX IQ Curricular Resources, view Professional Development Plus (PD+).
Scope and Sequences
VEX scope and sequences help you plan your school year depending on the topics being emphasized in your class. Each pacing option sequences related STEM Lab Units and/or Activities to create a focused plan for implementation in your classroom. Choose the option that works best for your students and their needs.
Want to learn more about the planning resources available for VEX IQ or looking to create your own pacing guide made up of VEX IQ STEM Labs and activities? Collaborate with other IQ educators and VEX Experts in the VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+) Community. Learn more about PD+ below or access a free trial.
Support Before, During, and After Class
Teacher as Facilitator
While STEM Lab Units are student-facing content, a Facilitation Guide serves as the teacher-facing companion for each STEM Lab Unit. This functions like a teacher’s manual, providing the resources, materials, and information needed to be able to plan, teach, and assess with VEX IQ (2nd generation). Facilitation Guides are editable Google Docs that can be copied and customized to best fit your needs, or printed to have a paper copy on hand while planning and teaching.
To use a Facilitation Guide in your classroom, begin by reviewing the first section for an overview of the Unit and how you can be a facilitator throughout the process. Review each Lesson’s specific instructions before teaching to keep your instruction focused. Each Lesson’s section in the Facilitation Guide includes:
- Preparation information
- Reminders and tips for the lesson
- Strategies to help create a positive classroom mindset and culture
This video shows where the Facilitation Guide is located within each Unit.
Direct instruction within each Lesson is provided in student-facing videos taught by VEX Experts. This means that you do not need to be an expert coder or engineer to complete these STEM Lab Units in your classroom. Each Learn video is accompanied by a Lesson Summary to reference while watching the video or later while completing the Practice or Competition activities.
See all of the Learn Summaries and concepts covered in VEX IQ STEM Lab Units in this article. This lets you find and print all Lesson Summaries within a specific Lesson or Unit before the beginning of class.
Formative assessment is provided in the form of ‘Check Your Understanding’ questions at the bottom of each ‘Learn and Practice’ page. These questions relate directly to the direct instruction videos or the Competition activity to ensure students have an understanding before moving on to the next section.
Learn more about formative assessment strategies by watching the VEX PD+ video: Connecting Research and Practice - What are effective formative assessment strategies?.
Each set of questions is provided in an editable Google Doc so you can edit them to best fit your classroom or print them out for students to use a paper copy version. The answer key is available in the Teacher Portal beneath the videos.
Aligned to Standards
VEX IQ STEM Labs and Activities are targeted at a number of grade-level 6+ national standards, helping to ensure all students have access to robust content. You can see the specific ways our lessons help meet the learning objectives for your students in the Where and How Standards are Reached document. Each tab correlates with a different STEM Lab Unit.
VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+)
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.
VEX PD+ free tier
The VEX PD+ free tier includes access to:
- Introductory Certification 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.
VEX PD+ paid tier (All-Access)
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.
- Training Courses: Video-based, expert-led courses that range from introductory ‘Getting Started’ courses to more advanced and pedagogy focused courses.
- VEX Video Library: Access to hundreds of videos across a variety of topics and VEX platforms, available anytime and from anywhere.
- Live Sessions: Thematic, hour-long, expert-led sessions that provide insights and practical takeaways about teaching with VEX.
- 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.
Teach Coding With Blocks or Python
VEX IQ STEM Lab Units give you the flexibility of teaching with VEXcode IQ Blocks or Python. The Teacher Portal of each Unit includes resources like adjusted lesson summaries, additional ‘Check Your Understanding’ questions, and information on how to make adjustments while teaching.
Resources are Just a Click Away
Student Experiences Led by Pedagogy
Teach IQ with confidence. VEX STEM Labs and curricula are research-based STEM programs developed by teachers for teachers and backed by proven results. The purpose of VEX Research is to provide teachers and district administrators with information about the research-based instructional strategies and approaches used in VEX products and solutions.
You will find links to related research articles and videos below as we discuss the student-driven experience of VEX IQ classroom competition STEM Lab Units.
Read more at research.vex.com
Bring the excitement of competitions to the classroom
Classroom robotics competitions are fantastic motivators for students, because they provide the experience of authentic collaboration, opportunities for genuine ownership of learning, and a sense of belonging. The competition itself provides continued motivation for iteration and improvement throughout the lesson, naturally extending student learning to the maximum extent possible. Using a VEX IQ Leaderboard can extend that excitement even further with scores posted for all students to see.
Creating collaborative decision makers
Facilitating decision making amongst VEX IQ aged-students can be difficult, but having skills to share ideas, collaborate, and use data to back up decisions as a group is vital for this age group. Building collaboration into more spaces in the classroom allows students’ social-emotional skills to flourish. Reminders for students about how to use these decision making skills are built into the Compete page of every STEM Lab Unit. Authentic collaboration can be difficult, but just like any other skill will become easier with practice.
Student-directed learning with self-assessment
Throughout VEX IQ STEM Lab Units and Lessons, student self-assessment is included in reflection prompts, debrief conversations, and even in the beginning stages of the Unit as you co-create learning targets with your students. Student self-assessment speaks to what we value most: students and their voices. By creating a space for students to share their progress and learning, we emphasize the process of iteration and learning from failure over the final product or score in the competition. Visit these resources for additional information and guidance on this research-based practice:
Make learning visible with Engineering Notebooks
Engineering Notebooks are a vital part of both classroom competitions and VEX Robotics Competitions. They are an important learning tool that when effectively utilized can lead to a number of positive student outcomes. Engineering Notebooks encourage students to record data, strategies, and iterations so they can effectively reflect on their learning at the end of a competition. This allows them to reference specific data when making decisions with their teams.
Read more about how engineering notebooks can:
- promote active learning
- help student motivation
- promote student interaction
- contextualize learning experience
There is no such thing as ‘Done’
With competitions, students can continually improve their score, improve their build, make their code more efficient, etc. This emphasis on iteration and the Engineering Design Process (EDP) allows students to build resilience to failure and learn from mistakes in a classroom culture where failure is celebrated.
Look to the future with related STEM careers
Learning and exploration go beyond classroom concepts! The Conclusion Lesson of each STEM Lab Unit presents two STEM Careers that connect to the concepts in the Unit. Students can further research that career or another connected one and complete a choice board activity. This is a great opportunity to share how STEM concepts in VEX IQ STEM Lab Units are related to everyday jobs.
The VEX Library provides documentation, resources, and information about all things VEX organized and in one place. This self-serve support exists to help users quickly find detailed information on building, electronics, coding, and troubleshooting.
The VEX Library includes information on:
Additional Educator Resources:
Go to library.vex.com for more
VEX IQ Competitions
Are your students excited by classroom competitions? Are they ready to take their competition to the next level? The REC Foundation is here to help you get your students started with the VEX IQ Competition (VIQC)! Resources are available to help you learn how to start a school team, what it means to be a coach, and more.
Read more at coaches.vex.com