What is VEX IQ?
VEX IQ is a robotics platform designed to transform STEM learning for young students and their teachers. Students as young as 8 can jump right in and snap robots together using the intuitive, toolless platform while educators can utilize the free VEX IQ Curriculum to help teach students valuable lessons and skills that are needed in today’s changing world. Complete VEX IQ Starter Kits start at $249.99 and contain everything needed to build a drivable robot. The VEX IQ Super Kit, at $299.99, includes everything found in a Starter Kit plus a full array of sensors.
What is the VEX IQ Challenge?
The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is a brand new STEM program for elementary and middle school students (ages 8-14). Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, will build a robot using the VEX IQ robotics platform to solve an engineering challenge presented in the form of a game. VEX IQ Challenge teams will work together scoring points in Teamwork Matches, and also display their robot’s skills individually in driver controlled and autonomous Skills Challenges.
In addition to building robots, the VEX IQ Challenge encourages students to actively learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a STEM themed research project that consists of a written or media presentation. Registration for a VEX IQ Challenge team costs $100. Additional teams from the same schools can register for $50. Tournament entry fees vary by event.
What software & programming options are available for VEX IQ?
VEX IQ robot kits come pre-programmed with built-in default functionality. The Robot Brain contains a Driver Control program that allows students to drive their robots as soon as they’re built, and each Smart Sensor will perform a default action when plugged in to any of the Robot Brain’s Smart Ports. For example, the Gyro Sensor will always keep the robot facing forward, which creates a great learning opportunity for a curious student – how does a gyro work? How else can we apply this technology?
For advanced opportunities, the VEX IQ Robot Brain can be programmed using one of two software options from VEX partners. Robomatter’s ROBOTC 4.0 is a C-based programming language supported by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy, and the free Modkit for VEX is a graphical dragand-drop programming environment inspired by MIT’s popular “Scratch” language. Autodesk has also created a design package, VEX Assembler, that brings the modern principles of computer-aided design (CAD) into an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.
How can educators use VEX IQ?
In addition to the VEX IQ Challenge, educators can access a free online curriculum designed for classroom use and mapped to US national STEM standards for grades 2-8 (NGSS, STL, and Common Core). With student handouts, teachers’ guides, and custom projects, the flexible VEX IQ curriculum can be scaled for everything from an after school STEM club to a dedicated class period. By exciting and inspiring students through robotics, the VEX IQ curriculum instills proper engineering practices from an early age, while maintaining the fun and excitement that comes from playing with VEX IQ.
Is VEX IQ available internationally?
Yes, VEX IQ is available worldwide.
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