VEX Monthly Newsletter – March 2022

Get Ready for a Summer of Learning with VEX Camps!

Learning doesn’t need to stop over the summer. In fact, studies have shown that out-of-school engagements can lead to academic gains in subjects like mathematics, making summer learning a useful tool to help combat learning loss for students. In addition, informal educational opportunities, like camps, are a great way to keep students engaged in critical thinking, and practicing social and non-cognitive skills that support school success. Camps give students the chance to explore new concepts and areas of interest, as well as build on their skills and knowledge in more flexible ways that cannot always be actioned in a traditional classroom setting. The fun, creative, and exciting robotics activities that make up VEX Camps can help keep students’ learning alive during the summer months. 

Camps are also a great way to fundraise for your robotics class or competition team. Use your VEX materials over the summer to host camps and use the registration as a way to gather donations for your program. Teams can share their learning with new students, or prospective team members; or teachers can extend the learning they did in class in a fun and informal environment. Families can pay a donation to sign their students up, and teams and schools can get a start on fundraising for the new year!

As you think about organizing your own summer learning activities, has a multitude of options to help you host a VEX Camp in your setting. Camps are organized by platform, with themed activities – from Story Time Robots for VEX 123 to Robot Soccer with VEX EXP – there are camps for all ages and experience levels. VEX Camps offers everything you need to host and run a camp successfully. From resources for camp management, like manuals and release forms, to camp schedules with links and implementation options, to Welcome Letters and flyers for community engagement – takes the guesswork out of running a camp. 

Check out all that VEX Camps can offer, and get ready for a fun filled summer of learning!

Introducing Web-based VEXcode IQ and VEXcode V5

Code your VEX IQ and VEX V5 robots directly from your web browser! VEXcode is now available across all platforms in a web-based format, eliminating the need for app installations on student devices. Web-based VEXcode IQ and VEXcode V5 support both block-based and text-based coding with Python and C++, and contain most of the features and functionality you are used to in the app-based versions. Web-based VEXcode can be used on any computer through a Chrome browser and will work on Chromebooks!

Updates to the VEX IQ Educator Certification

VEX IQ Educator Certification now includes VEX IQ 2nd generation! Like all VEX Educator Certifications, the VEX IQ certification course continues to be a free, online, self-paced course designed to get you up and running with your VEX IQ materials. Adapted to include information and course content for both VEX IQ 1st and 2nd generations, and new content to support teaching with VEX IQ STEM Labs. The certification course is a great introduction if you are new to VEX IQ, or an opportunity to learn more if you are a VEX IQ veteran.

PD+ Live Courses Connect Educators with Learning and Dialogue

March saw the addition of the first PD+ Live Courses with introductory classes in VEX 123, VEX GO, VEX IQ, and VEX EXP. Courses follow a flipped classroom model, in which educators interact with course materials at their own pace during the week, then come together virtually for a weekly live discussion. The live courses have found educators sharing tips and tricks from their teaching experiences, engaging in pedagogical discussions about things like grouping students to maximize engagement, offering feedback on lesson plans, and much, much more. The rich dialogue each week offers educators an opportunity to grow their professional network, and have a place to talk about what and how they are teaching with VEX with other VEX educators near and far. The conversations are participant-driven, making each course a uniquely personal professional development experience for the participants.

As a PD+ subscriber, you can take as many courses as you want, at any time. You also have access to all course recordings in the PD+ video library, so if you can’t make a session or want to revisit a class, you can. Curious about the Live Courses? Sign up for a PD+ 3 Day Trial, and view live course recordings and community course conversations to see what they’re all about!

Inaugural VEX Educator Conference Coming Up at VEX Worlds!

This year’s VEX Robotics World Championship features an Educator Conference! Offering a diverse lineup of real-world practitioners who are creating the tools and resources for both classrooms and competition fields. Learn from their knowledge and experience, and develop with them creative strategies you can implement back home. You’ll also learn from the other teachers and create friendships that will support you in your STEM journey.

Conference registration is free to PD+ subscribers. Learn more about conference sessions and the agenda here.

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