VEX IQ Camps

Theme: Robot Olympics (Grades 6 - 8)


For more details, click here.


Robot Olympics

Detailed Plans, based on VEX template (Link to Google Doc):

Day 1

  1. Students Install VEXcodeIQ on their Chromebooks.

  2. Students build the Autopilot configuration with their kits. This may take about an hour.

3 ways to access the build directions:

Click here for suggested roles to build this in a group.

After building:

  1. Pair the controller with the robot brain.

  2. Students practice driving the robot with the controller.

  3. After practicing, students can compete in a few games of Robot Soccer! Click here for the rules. Teachers, set up the field ahead of time. Use tape and tennis balls.

  4. For the rest of today's time, complete the Level Up activities on page 2 of the rules for Robot Soccer.

When there is 15 minutes left in the session:

  • Teacher may need to update the firmware in all kits, otherwise the programming abilities may not work on the Chromebooks.

  • Have the students plug everything from their kits into the brain.

  • Follow the directions here or in this video:

Day 2

Download the VEXcodeIQ App on the Chromebooks so they can code.

OR If the chrome app doesn't load, use this website instead:

  1. Students already built the Autopilot robot yesterday, so they can jump straight to the "Play" section to begin programming.

  2. In VEXcodeIQ on the Chromebooks, students click File - Examples - Templates - Autopilot (Drivetrain)

  3. Follow the steps under the Play and then Rethink pages of the stem lab.

  1. Complete the Play and Rethink sections of the stem lab.

  2. Emphasize how to save programs into one of the 4 slots in the brain.


  1. Teacher sets up an obstacle course. Can students pre-program their robots to move from point A to point B while avoiding obstacles?

  2. Which group can do it in the shortest time?

  3. Can groups design an attachment to push/pull one or two tennis balls through the obstacle course?

  4. Teams "joust" against one another:

    1. Team A builds something to push a tennis ball forward (must be to the right of the robot)

    2. Team B builds something that is supposed to knock the tennis ball out of Team A's robot. Could be designed to scoop, poke, or push the ball.

    3. Both teams drive forward and see who wins the joust!

Emphasize the Engineering Design Process! The more times you repeat the design/build/test process, the better your result!

Day 3

Note: Instead of aluminum soda cans, use the colorful plastic VEX blocks.

  1. Students modify their robots into the Clawbot design. (recall the 3 ways to find buildig directions from day 1)

  2. Complete the Play and Rethink (Package Dash) sections of the Speedy Delivery STEM Lab.


  1. Bonus Challenge: Add sounds for when the robot is backing up and lights from the Touch LED to indicate when the robot has picked a package up and placed it in the loading dock.

  2. Increase complexity: Add more packages (cans) that the robot must pick up! Multiple rounds can be played.

Day 4

  1. Students complete the Play and Rethink sections.

Extension: Add sounds from the brain and colored lights from the Touch LED to make your dance routine even more exciting!

  1. Students complete the Play and Rethink sections.

Day 5

  1. Students complete the Play and Rethink sections.

Notes from 2021 Camp

Week 1

  • Day 1: Build the autopilot configuration and drive with the controller

  • Day 2: Program the autopilot to drive through a maze

  • Day 3: Build the Clawbot and drive it with the controller. Have a competition! Race to grab more blocks than the other group (hungry hungry hippos)

  • Day 4: For the first hour, some students finish building their clawbots. Some students can choose to program their clawbot to navigate a maze. Others can compete in hungry hungry hippos.

Week 2

  • Day 1: Build the autopilot configuration (most groups finished). For the last 45 minutes or so, play a game:

    • Four robots start out in a corner of a large square. Three tennis balls are placed in the middle of the arena. The object of the game is to push a tennis ball into an opponent's corner. If a ball reaches your corner, you're out. Play 1-minute matches, anyone who's out sits out the next game so new teams can join. The matches are quick so that if you lose, you can re-join soon.

    • Optional: Add blocks to the middle of the arena as obstacles.

    • Optional: Teams can build attachments to the front of their robots to make it better at pushing the tennis balls.

  • Day 2: Finish building the autopilot, or at least add the Gyro sensor (it just has to be vertical). Learn how to code so the robots can navigate various mazes.

  • Day 3: Build the Clawbot! Some groups may not completely finish, and will need to finish at the begining of day 4.

  • Day 4: Finish building clawbots, Hungry Hungry Hippos and other games with the clawbots!

  • Day 5: Part 1 - Program the clawbots to navigate mazes. Part 2 - Modify the clawbots to carry as many cubes as possible. Compete in the arena to collect as many cubes as you can!

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