As part of our robotics education expansion to include all Pre K-8 grades, we wanted to add VEX to the robotics curriculum. After attending VEX workshops at ISTE and speaking with their staff, we chose VEX IQ to start with. We decided on IQ mainly because we are an Apple School, and it was our first experience with VEX. We purchased a classroom bundle of 12 kits, and the latest competition course for a new robotics elective I created for our middle school.

VEX IQ Classroom Ki
VEX IQ Classroom Kit

There are two native programming environments for VEX IQ, ROBOTC and Modkit. Only the Modkit is cross platform, and being an Apple school, that helped sway our decision toward VEX IQ. Modkit is also available as an iPad App, which is convenient for our BYOD and 1:1 iPad programs. There is also an excellent third party web based interface option, Robot Mesh Studio.

VEX IQ Modkit Interface
VEX IQ Modkit Interface

VEX is committed to education, offering a free, standards matched curriculum. Additionally, VEX has partnered with The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute and Project Lead The Way (PLTW). VEX even provides a robotics camp handbook.

While my students enjoyed working with the VEX IQ kits, they really became excited about the competition course. VEX has created an excellent robotics competition community through their Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. While these competitions have only been around a few years, they have really caught on and are well organized and attended. The resources that they provide are comprehensive.

VEX OS Utility
Easy to use VEX OS Utility for firmware updates

The middle school elective class was the first to use the kits, and even the students without any robotics experience were successful. I have since introduced the VEX IQ to some experienced lower school roboteers very successfully. The pictorial directions, posters with actual size part guidelines, and easy to do firmware updates, make these kits very student friendly.

The curriculum map plan is to add the VEX EDR for middle school next year now that they have some experience, and use the IQ for lower school robotics classes. I highly recommend adding VEX to your robotics curriculum.

 

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.