The creators of the VEX Robotics Design System, used by middle and high school students around the world, have expanded into the elementary space with their new VEX IQ platform.
Educators everywhere have recognized the increasing need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in today’s society. The world is in desperate need of scientists and innovators to solve the unsustainable problems plaguing our planet’s future and continue driving innovation. However, when students are choosing college majors (and, by extension, their careers), many have not yet seen just how exciting STEM can be. There has been a call for a new way to motivate students about engineering - a call answered by VEX Robotics.
Aimed at students in middle and high school, the VEX Robotics Design System offers students the perfect avenue to learn engineering fundamentals, build teamwork and leadership skills, and maybe even represent their country on a global scale. Building robots in a classroom using VEX parts offers an unparalleled STEM education experience, and in 2013, over 7,300 teams from all 50 states and 25 countries competed in the VEX Robotics Competition, making it the largest robotics competition in the world.
The Next Step: Elementary Robotics
Now, VEX has taken the lessons learned from their popular high school system and created an entirely new platform designed for young students and their teachers: VEX IQ. Students as young as 8 can jump in, snap together, and drive robots in minutes using the intuitive, tool-free platform that takes the frustration out of building robots.
VEX IQ is a total classroom solution. The affordable kits (starting at $249.99) mean anyone can enjoy it, and educators can utilize the free, online curriculum to create an entire lesson plan. Plus, the VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation and structured off of the VEX Robotics Competition, gives young students access to the inspiration and thrill that comes from participating in a global STEM challenge.
Simple, Flexible, Powerful
The VEX IQ system was designed to be simple and easy for students to use, while keeping a high ceiling for advanced users. Structural pieces snap together and come apart without tools, allowing for quick build times and easy modifications. A variety of gears, wheels, chain, and other accessories allow for complete customization of VEX IQ projects and mobile robots.
At the heart of every VEX IQ robot is the Robot Brain, which takes the latest Texas Instruments microcontroller technology and optimizes it for students’ use. The Robot Brain can accommodate and auto-detect any combination of 12 Smart Port devices (like color sensors, Smart Motors equipped with encoders, a gyro, or other sensors). In addition to teleoperated control using a gamepad-style joystick, VEX IQ robots can be programmed using ROBOTC or the new Modkit for VEX, a graphical programming language based off of the wildly successful Scratch.
A STEM Education Revolution
With its affordable kits, easy-to-use parts, and limitless potential, VEX IQ is the ideal way to get younger students excited about STEM and robotics. What will your students come up with?
For more information about VEX IQ, visit www.vexiq.com. For more information about the VEX IQ Challenge or other robotics competitions, visit www.robotevents.com.