Increasing Workforce Readiness with VEX V5 Workcell
Mindsets continue to shift from “college for all” to recognition that many students thrive in pathways that take them directly into a career. It’s now more important than ever to ensure that all students have access to hands-on and engaging STEM opportunities—like the VEX V5 Workcell—that can inspire and engage them.
Youth apprenticeships give participants an opportunity to earn professional certifications in technical fields in combination with their high school education. According to a recent analysis by Education Week, the number of these youth apprenticeships is growing, but that growth doesn’t represent the diversity of our population. Black and Hispanic students are far less likely to participate in apprenticeships than their peers who identify as white, and only 7 percent of youth apprentices are women.
School districts can take action to address these disparities by encouraging girls and students in underrepresented communities to try a variety of STEM activities that can boost their interest in hands-on technical careers and technical apprenticeships. Students with expanded STEM opportunities gain access to pathways that can improve their post-high-school income potential. Apprenticeship programs provide training and experience that, on average, more than doubles the hourly wage earned by other students who don’t participate in these career-focused programs.
The VEX V5 Workcell provides classrooms and school districts with a robotics platform that has been developed specifically for Career and Technical Education. Through the associated curriculum and the in-classroom Factory Automation Competition, students build the foundational skills needed for today’s advanced manufacturing careers.
Explore New Playgrounds in VEXcode VR!
In addition to the VRC Spin Up and VRC Tipping Point VR Playgrounds released last month, VEXcode VR now features several new Premium Playgrounds and virtual robots—including VIQC Slapshot, VIQC Pitching In, the GO Mars Math Expedition Competition, and the all-new Rover Rescue!
Code your VEX GO VR Hero Robot to collect and deliver samples from craters to the Lab on Mars! Use virtual versions of VIQC and VRC hero bots to test your coding skills against virtual versions of this and last season’s games. Code a VR Rover to stay powered up for as long as possible by collecting fuel cells and neutralizing enemies on a new alien planet!
Each of these new Playgrounds and virtual robots gives students opportunities to code drivetrains, manipulators, and sensors to interact with customized virtual environments without the need to build and troubleshoot a physical robot.
Visit vexrobotics.com for more information on VEXcode VR and everything it includes!
Celebrating CSEdWeek and the Hour of Code with VEX Robotics!
Classrooms around the world participated in the Hour of Code and celebrated CSEdWeek with VEX Robotics. Students coded real and virtual robots to tackle themed challenges, competing against their peers to record the highest scores!
Students got hands-on with activities that used their classroom robots to crash castles, collect acorns, deliver pizzas, and navigate mazes—all based on engaging and fun coding lessons. Others used virtual robots in VEXcode VR to neutralize hostile aliens, collect mineral samples, and score points in virtual versions of real-world VEX Robotics Competitions. Whether students were new to coding or expanding on their existing knowledge, the wide range of physical or virtual coding activities provided something for everyone.
Free Access to VEXcode VR Enhanced and Premium in December 2022
For the month of December 2022, and in celebration of Computer Science Education Week, all Playgrounds and virtual robots in all versions of VEXcode VR are available to all users for free!
This means your students can access the entire range of Enhanced and Premium VEXcode VR experiences, including the new Rover Rescue activities, virtual versions of VIQC & VRC games, Art Canvas+, Castle Crasher+, and many more, whatever your VEXcode VR account level!evel of coding experience.
VEXcode VR brings STEM concepts to life, making coding engaging, accessible, and fun. Whether you use one of the built-in example projects for inspiration, or build your own entirely new project, there’s something in VEXcode VR for every level of coding experience.
Head to vr.vex.com now, and select ‘Open Playground’ in the top menu bar to explore the entire range of VEXcode VR Playgrounds and virtual robots!
New VEX Training Courses in PD+
PD+ now includes training courses for VEX GO and VEX IQ! These video versions of our popular hands-on, in-person training sessions allow you to learn about building and coding with VEX—in the comfort of your own space, and exactly when it’s convenient for you.
Lessons begin with basic skills like charging the battery and connecting it to the Brain, then move into simple robot Builds with built-in pauses to check your progress against the instructions and video. Each lesson feels like a 1:1 tutoring session with a pro, and includes tips and tricks to help you and your students succeed. Each major concept—like kit organization, using build instructions, and coding your first project—is presented as a chapter, and includes quizzes to help check your understanding. These courses are still in progress, and additional content is being added every week!
As you learn at your own pace and practice your skills in step-by-step, hands-on lessons and activities, you’ll gain the skills you need to teach VEX with confidence. Log into PD+ and select “Training Courses” from the dashboard to get started in one of these new courses now!
VEX PD+ is a community of educators who work together to build and share resources that help students and teachers succeed. Access a free 3-day trial to preview VEX PD+ content, or purchase or get a quote for PD+.
VEXcode VR Activity Labs Provide Sequenced Activity Sets!
The new VEXcode VR Activity Labs make it easier than ever for teachers to use VEXcode VR as part of their computer science curriculum. Labs range from beginning activities that get students started in VEXcode VR to advanced challenges that simulate in-person VEX Competitions!
Each Lab is a guided set of activities that share a common theme and provide a scaffolded progression of coding skills. Step-by-step instructions walk students through activities and tutorial videos in VEXcode VR, and embedded links take students directly to the correct Playground for each activity.
Additional Labs are being developed now, and will be added soon! Head over to the computer science resources at education.vex.com to view the current lineup of VEXcode VR Activity Labs, and check back frequently for upcoming additions.
Classroom Competitions Make Learning Fun!
Classroom competitions are great motivators, and they help students understand and use the steps of the engineering design process. They’re also fun!