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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:44 AM
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Curriculum Design

Hi all -

I've been working on determining which curriculum to use for a Robotics course that I want to offer next year. My first inclination is to use a VEX curriculum that makes use of RobotC. The question I have is how well will the skills learned in VEX transfer to FRC?

-Daniel
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Unread 09-28-2011, 08:44 AM
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Re: Curriculum Design

The school district I teach in is implementing VEX into the middle school curriculum, but I dont' think there are any plans to implement at the high school at this time. This is partially due to the "sensitive" area of what department do you stick a "robotics course" into and who is teaching it, though that may be an issue with licensure in our state and not yours.

Clarification: At the middle school level robotics is part of Career and Technical Education and the students in 8th grade use VEX as part of that class, should they choose to take it. If my high school were to implement such a course, I am a Science teacher and the other Coach is a Math teacher, neither of us is licensed to teach CTE so somone else would have to teach it.

I would contact VEX and see what they can provide you.
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Last edited by Phyrxes : 09-28-2011 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Added Clarification
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Unread 09-28-2011, 10:32 AM
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Re: Curriculum Design

All mechanical concepts transfer, yes. Software, only processes, etc as the microcontrollers, interfaces, program languages can be different depending on what your FRC programming methods are.

take a look at all of the offerings, here:
http://www.vexrobotics.com/education/curriculum

and if you're still unclear, the teacher's handbook that goes with the classroom competition is a GREAT starter for all pertinent mechanical concepts:
http://www.vexrobotics.com/education.../275-1419.html
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Unread 09-28-2011, 11:25 PM
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Re: Curriculum Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysterE View Post
Hi all -

I've been working on determining which curriculum to use for a Robotics course that I want to offer next year. My first inclination is to use a VEX curriculum that makes use of RobotC. The question I have is how well will the skills learned in VEX transfer to FRC?

-Daniel
Especially if you are hoping to transfer skills to FRC, why wouldn't you be considering FTC? There is much more to FIRST than the engineering skills and FTC encourages those additional skill-sets. It is also much more well integrated with the community and more supportive of the student-mentor relationship. FTC does support RobotC as well as LabView, which is an extremely common tool in academia and research. As the other reply indicated, the mechanical and likely electrical concepts will otherwise be remain very similar.

If you're only looking for a platform it probably doesn't matter, there are actually plenty of more cost effective options than either, but if you're hoping to educate students, FTC is the way to go. They also do have curriculum developed and it would not be difficult to obtain a copy.
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Unread 09-29-2011, 12:04 AM
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Re: Curriculum Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJmango View Post
Especially if you are hoping to transfer skills to FRC, why wouldn't you be considering FTC? There is much more to FIRST than the engineering skills and FTC encourages those additional skill-sets. It is also much more well integrated with the community and more supportive of the student-mentor relationship. FTC does support RobotC as well as LabView, which is an extremely common tool in academia and research. As the other reply indicated, the mechanical and likely electrical concepts will otherwise be remain very similar.

If you're only looking for a platform it probably doesn't matter, there are actually plenty of more cost effective options than either, but if you're hoping to educate students, FTC is the way to go. They also do have curriculum developed and it would not be difficult to obtain a copy.
Vex is a superior choice all around when compared to FTC. The cost is far lower, the components are of higher quality, it's easier and more intuitive to setup, and there are more competitions and curriculum.
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Unread 09-29-2011, 12:12 AM
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Re: Curriculum Design

Before this gets off into an Tetrix/FTC vs VEX/VRC debate...

Just remember that VEX was originally developed for FRC teams to use in prototyping, way way back in the day (OK, so it hasn't quite been a decade yet). VEX is cheaper; the strength is at least comparable between the two (unless you're talking about motors that are (mis)used in FRC); both have curriculum. Competitions could be a factor; some areas seem to have better VRC coverage, while others seem to have better FTC coverage.

With those things considered, it's the choice of the educator which curriculum is chosen.

With respect to the original question, they should transfer just fine. It's just a bit bigger of a machine...
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Unread 09-29-2011, 06:55 AM
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Re: Curriculum Design

Daniel,
If this adds any weight to the discussion, VEX has been adopted by Project Lead The Way for their curriculum.
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Unread 09-29-2011, 02:37 PM
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Re: Curriculum Design

Slightly off-topic, but SparkFun is developing a robotics & technology curriculum that may be worthwhile for some teams.
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