Unit 12 Lesson Plan: Testing and the Iteration Process

Grade Level:


9th grade general math and science

Concepts Addressed:
In this unit the students will learn how important testing, iteration and continuous improvement are in the design process. The students will learn how to develop their final design.

Learning Objectives:

  • The students will be able to demonstrate the role that testing plays in the design process.
  • The students will be able to demonstrate how the information collected in the testing process is used in the different iterations of their robot design.
  • The students will be able to demonstrate a systematic process to prioritize the improvements dictated from the data collected from their testing.

STEM Connection:
The iterative process is fundamental in engineering. Keeping notes in an engineering notebook is common practice across the many types of engineering that exist.

Materials Needed:

  • Unit Guide
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Internet Access
  • Dictionaries
  • VEX Robotics Kit
  • Computers with Autodesk Inventor
  • Storage containers
  • Online Resources

Key Terminology:

Day to Day Lesson Plan:

Day 1:
Introduce the process of iteration and how it is used in engineering.


Day 2:
Allow students to begin the testing process with the guided questions being answered in their engineering notebooks.

  • Does the robot complete tasks in the desired manner?
  • Is it fast enough?
  • Is it robust enough, or are parts of it breaking during use?
  • Does the robot achieve the goals that have been set forth by the team?
  • Can it score enough points to consistently win matches?
  • Is it easy to control?

Day 3:
Review how students should be using the information collected in their testing to prioritize the changes that need to be made to their robots.

  • What is being tested?
  • What results were observed?
  • What could be done to improve the results?
  • Are the results acceptable or is it worthwhile to make improvements?

Allow teams time to talk through this process and develop a written plan for which steps they will carry out first then second and so on.


Day 4:
Allow students to work on updating their Inventor projects and or their notebook sketches to reflect the new changes.
Have students show you their changes as they make the updates.


Day 5:
Allow for continued work on the Inventor projects and notebook sketches and for additional testing as needed.


Day 6:
Allow students to conduct any final preparation for the classroom competition.
Review Guide to Preparing for Competition in Appendix 4
Have students help in the preparation of a classroom competition. Refer to the VEX Guide to Holding a Competition in Appendix 3.


Day 7:
Class competition.


Day 8:
Complete Class Competition
Have students complete the Analysis and Reflection Questions into their Engineering Notebook


Day 9:
Final evaluation of Engineering Notebook
Evaluation of Inventor files/ notebook sketches

Engineering Notebook “Seed Questions”:

  1. How did the testing process provide you concrete information to make your decisions?
  2. How did the iterative process improve the quality of your design?
  3. How did your prioritize which subsystems were working on first?

Analysis and Reflection Questions:

  1. What was your favorite part of the competition robotics experience?
  2. Did the game-play match your expectations (i.e. did the matches play out like you expected)?
  3. What would you improve about your robot design?
  4. Would you make any major changes or only minor changes?
  5. What would you improve about the design process if you had to start over?
  6. Were there things you wish you had spent more time on?
  7. What was the most important life skill you learned during this process?
  8. Why was it important to your experience?