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
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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 Unit 8 in the VEX IQ Educator Certification course.
The VEX IQ Educator Certification course is a free, self-paced course that takes you through everything you need to get started with VEX IQ in your classroom. Specific lessons and units will be linked throughout this page to help you learn even more about VEX IQ!
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.
To learn more about the planning resources available for VEX IQ, view Unit 8 in the VEX IQ Educator Certification course.
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 3-day 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?.
If you do not have a PD+ subscription, learn more about PD+ below or access a free 3-day trial.
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 IQ Educator Certification
The VEX IQ Educator Certification course provides you with hands-on experience building and coding with VEX IQ! Throughout the course you will learn more about the parts in the kit, how to build and drive robots, coding with VEXcode IQ, sensors, and the different ways to incorporate VEX IQ into your classroom.
After completing this free certification, you will receive a certificate showing that you are a certified VEX IQ Educator and recognizing the time you invested in professional development! This online training is self-paced and works around your schedule to help educators at all different backgrounds and levels of experience.
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.
Learn more about teaching VEX IQ STEM Lab Units with Python in this article.
Resources are Just a Click Away
Find all of the VEX IQ STEM Labs, Activities, and teacher resources at education.vex.com. A list of resources that can be found within each Unit’s Teacher Portal is available in this article.
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.
Support from Day 1 with VEX PD+
Just as you work with colleagues in your school to develop lessons, solve problems, and further your knowledge, VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+) creates a community of practice specifically for VEX Educators. PD+ offers access to a catalog of professional development videos, live courses throughout the year, a Professional Learning Community, and much more. New content is added monthly!
Access a free 3-day trial to preview VEX PD+ content, or purchase or get a quote for PD+.
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:
How to use VEX mechanical products
Additional Educator Resources:
Facilitating engineering conversations
Facilitating coding conversations
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