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Chris Calver, UK Education Manager at VEX Robotics, explains how you can use VEX 123 to teach STEM in Key Stage 1…
VEX 123 uses robots to teach STEM subjects in KS1. Free lesson plans cover topics including the number line, addition and subtraction, creativity through art and craft and computing through coding, providing everything you need to teach a rich STEM curriculum.
Why is this resource suitable for busy primary classrooms?
We’ve tried to provide everything that a busy classroom needs. That means a product supplied in storage that makes it easy to move from classroom to classroom, charging stations to ensure everything is ready to go when you need it and lesson plans which can be integrated into your existing curriculum to boost STEM learning.
You don’t need to use tablets or computers either – everything required is in that one bag.
Why was it important that this coding resource doesn’t need screens?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using devices with screens, and VEX 123 does support that too, but being able to code without screens allows younger students to focus on sequences of instructions.
It’s much easier to decide if you should use turn left or right when you can lay the card on the table next to the robot and see if the arrow is pointing the way you want it to go.
How does VEX 123 compare with other robots aimed at KS1?
We designed VEX 123 to be easy to use for the youngest students while still offering a greater challenge for those that need it. The simplest programming is done by inputting sequences via the buttons on the robot itself.
The Coder and Programming Cards are the next step, offering the same simplicity but with a wider range of commands. Finally, it can be programmed using Scratch Blocks from almost any device using VEXcode 123.
How do you support teachers to use VEX 123?
We start with training and online certification which teachers can access free of charge. This gives them the knowledge they need to be confident with the product and know how to find all the associated resources.
The biggest resource is STEM Labs, a suite of lesson plans that contain everything to deliver a complete STEM curriculum from videos, presentations and handouts to how to structure the lesson and which questions to ask.
How does VEX 123 help to teach a wider STEM curriculum beyond coding?
The robot is the hook in every lesson and is the thing that gets students engaged. However, the lessons cover a wide range of topics, not just STEM.
The number line and numeracy, weather and the environment, art and design, storytelling and, of course, coding are all covered which means the robots will get a lot of use across the school and provide great value.
Get in touch with VEX Robotics on 01925 251 038 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more at teachprimary.vex.com.
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