What is COVERAGE?
Competition of VEX Educational Robotics to Advance Girls Education (COVERAGE) is a project to inspire and support female middle and high school students to pursue STEM careers in West Virginia. COVERAGE was funded by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. During the academic year 2019-2020, WVU Tech is helping teachers organize Girls Robotics Clubs in Kanawha, Fayette and Lincoln Counties to prepare female middle and high school students for a regional robotics competition. Through attendance and participation in the robotics clubs and competitions, these students are predicted to become more knowledgeable and interested in STEM disciplines.
Weekly Discussion Topics
Each week will start off with a 45 minute discussion where I will introduce the activities for the week and show connections between the activities and the greater world of robotics and STEM. There will be time at the end of each discussion for questions and troubleshooting. Because different schools will be on different tracks, I will make some adaptations to keep things relevant to everybody, but I have laid out the overarching topics below.
Introduction: The VEX platform and the after school program
The Engineering Design Process
Mechanical Advantage: Ratios and linkages
Sensors: Identifying the world around you
Robotics Applications: Space and industry
Robotics Applications: Medicine
Sensors: Combining inputs to make decisions
Robotics Applications: Agriculture
Cross-disciplinary engineering skills
Robotics Applications: WV robotics careers
Status Report: Share your robot
Weekly Discussion Recordings
Software Activity Track
The Software Activity Track will last for 4 weeks. Students will work in the vr.vex.com simulator to develop familiarity with the VEXCode platform. Students will apply what they learned in the weekly discussions to complete increasingly complex challenges. VEXIQ and VRC will have the same challenges each week, but there are advanced optional challenges each week depending on progress.
Complete the Number Maze challenge. With your team, brainstorm a list of ways that your real robot might behave differently than the simulation. If time allows, attempt the Cross Every Number and Coordinate Numbers challenges. These will require advanced functionality to complete in a timely manner.
Use what you have learned about sensors to complete the Disk Mover and Robotic Vacuum Challenges. Work with your team to brainstorm and test ideas for completing the Number Maze challenge more reliably using sensors.
Use sensors to complete the Dynamic Wall Maze. If time allows, begin the Storm the Castle challenge. Did the Storm the Castle challenge seem a bit easier? How would you change your code if the castle was arranged differently?
Develop code to attempt the Sweep the Castle challenge. Try the challenge multiple times, and use sensors to handle the randomized starting arrangements.
Hardware Activity Track
The Hardware Activity Track lasts for 4 weeks. Students will begin by following included instructions to build a basic robot. After the basic build, students will apply what they learned in the weekly discussions to complete a design-and-build challenge. VEXIQ and VRC will have similar, but slightly different tasks.
VEXIQ: Using the provided instructions, begin to build the VEXIQ Clawbot with Sensors. Skip steps XX-XX.
VRC: Using the provided instructions, begin to build the VRC Clawbot.
VEXIQ: Using the provided instructions, complete the VEXIQ Clawbot with Sensors. Skip steps XX-XX. If time allows, add additional sensors.
VRC: Using the provided instructions, complete the VRC Clawbot. If time allows, add sensors for future programming.
VEXIQ: Use leftover pieces to complete the Mechanical Advantage STEM Lab.
VRC: Use leftover pieces to complete the Mechanical Advantage STEM Lab. Depending on which leftover pieces are available, you may need to adapt the build instructions slightly.
Using the built-in drive program for motion, adapt your robot to lift a heavy object to a taller height than currently possible.
Final Activity Track
The final activity track will last for 4 weeks. Students will use what they learned in the preceding tracks to customize their robots to compete in the culminating event, and will document their process in an Engineering Notebook. Programming will move from vr.vex.com to VEXCode IQ and VEXCode V5.
Customize your robot build to tackle the Final Challenge! Document your design process in your Engineering Notebook.
Customize your robot code to tackle the Final Challenge! Use the share feature of VEXCode to put a copy of your code in the Engineering Notebook.
Make final adjustments to your robot and code.