VEX Monthly Newsletter – January 2022

STEM Strategic Plan Progress Report

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently issued its third annual progress report to Congress on the implementation of the five-year Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan. The 2018 Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan was released following a White House State-Federal STEM Education Summit. The STEM Education Summit identified the following as the central objective of the strategic plan:

Ensure lifelong access to high-quality STEM education for all Americans and to position the U.S. as the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment.

To achieve this objective, the strategy identifies three overarching goals: 

  • Build strong foundations for STEM literacy
  • Increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM
  • Prepare the STEM workforce for the future

The report describes ongoing efforts and implementation practices across the Federal government as it works to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan.

The VEX Continuum shares the same goals of the STEM Education Strategic Plan.

The VEX K-16 Continuum brings STEM principles to life with engaging hands-on and minds-on experiences that engage all students.

Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan GoalsExamples form the VEX Continuum
Build strong foundations for STEM literacyThe VEX Continuum builds a strong foundation for STEM literacy by starting STEM early with products like VEX GO and VEX 123.  
Increase diversity, equity and inclusion in STEMVEXcode VR has helped all students experience STEM learning even while many schools have transitioned to hybrid or remote learning.  
Prepare the STEM workforce for the futureThe VEX Continuum spans multiple grade levels, allowing students to build their STEM learning over multiple years. Additionally, products like the V5 Workcell help bridge the gap between classroom and industry.  

January was National Mentor Month

VEX Robotics got its start with our co-owners, Tony Norman and Bob Mimlitch, mentoring high school robotics students. We believe strongly in mentors and the impact that they can have on students. That’s why we were proud to celebrate January as National Mentor Month. President Joe Biden in his 2022 proclamation said the following:

I often say that America can be defined in one word — possibilities. No matter our background or circumstance, every child in America has the right to go as far as their dreams will take them. But those dreams are rarely reached alone. We all benefit from the support, wisdom, and nurturing of mentors who navigated the path before us.

Thank you to all the mentors that continue to inspire and impact the lives of so many VEX Robotics teams all over the world.

Check out the Planet HEXBUG Leaderboard!

Planet HEXBUG is an open-ended coding exploration, where your code brings your VR HEXBUG nano® to life in a rich, virtual world! We created the Planet HEXBUG leaderboard so players can see how their score compares to others all over the world. Check out the Planet HEXBUG Leaderboard at

Learn more about getting started with Planet HEXBUG

Learn more about teaching with Planet HEXBUG

Python Educator Certification Course Released

Last month’s newsletter talked about the release of the Computer Science Level 1 Python course and hinted at the release of the Educator Certification. We are happy to announce that you can now take your Python coding skills to the next level with our latest Educator Certification course.

Thousands of teachers became VEX certified educators in 2021. We’re happy to kick off 2022 with this brand new certification course. The course contains 10 units:

Unit 1Introduction and Fundamentals
Unit 2Moving Your Robot
Unit 3Repeating Behaviors
Unit 4Navigating a Maze
Unit 5Detecting Walls from a Distance
Unit 6Knowing Your Location
Unit 7Decisions with Colors
Unit 8Moving Disks with Loops
Unit 9Developing Algorithms
Unit 10Teaching with VEXcode VR

Check out the Computer Science Level 1 Python Certification Course here

Check out the Computer Science Level 1 Python Course here

Get started with VEXcode VR here

Access ongoing professional development to support you as you teach with VEXcode VR here

Stay tuned to the VEX Newsletter as we will soon have information on Educator Certification course for VEX IQ (2nd Generation) and VEX EXP.

VEX EXP is Shipping!

Real Robots with the latest technology, sensors, and metal construction to teach STEM concepts.

Real Learning with project-based lessons that make students active participants in their learning.

Real-world Immersion into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math that every student needs.

Organized Storage with two bins per kit, location labels, and small parts cases.

Learn about EXP here

Learn more about EXP STEM Labs here

Explore the VEX EXP Kit of Parts here

Compare VEX EXP to V5 here

Learn about Funding and Grants for Robotics Programs here

Have you seen

Whether organizing parts, following a set of build instructions, or building a custom design, identifying a part correctly can be crucial to your success. That is why we created VEX rulers.

The VEX GO Parts Ruler can be used to identify parts while organizing parts or following a set of build instructions. The scale on the ruler is 1:1, so parts can simply be placed on top of the ruler.

The VEX Plastic and Metal Parts Rulers can also be used as a measuring tool to measure parts and distances. This can be very helpful when designing and assembling a custom robot which does not have specific instructions regarding the selection of parts.

Check out the series of articles in the STEM Library on the VEX Rulers. 

Preview of the February VEX Newsletter

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Stay tuned to VEX Social Media accounts as we recognize the women and girls as agents of change in Science.  

Online Courses in VEX Professional Development Plus

The February Newsletter will contain more information about VEX’s upcoming facilitated professional learning led by the VEX Experts. These virtual courses are personalized, engaging, fun, and thought-provoking professional development experiences. Stay tuned for more information.