Unit 3 Lesson Plan: Introduction to VEXnet

Grade Level:


9th grade general math and science

Concepts Addressed:

In this unit, studentswill learn whatthe core components of the VEX control system are - the Cortex Microcontroller, VEXnet Joystick and VEXnet Wireless link. They will also learn how they each function.

Learning Objectives:

  • The students will be able to explain what the specific components that make up the VEXnet System can do and how they are used to control the robot.
  • The students will be able to set up their microcontroller to function in both autonomous and drive controlled modes.
  • The students will be able to correctly produce entries into their engineering notebook.
  • The students will be able to use the VEXnet system to successfully control their robot in a classroom challenge.

STEM Connections:

The concept of how theVEX Cortex Microcontroller coordinates the flow of all information and power on the robot is addressed. The demonstration of how the flow of electronic information is handled between the system components and the interface is featured. The concept that a robot is a very complex system of parts that must work together in order to achieve a desired goal is brought to the forefront of the presentation. The Electronic controls provided by a programmable controller like the VEX Cortex Microcontroller demonstrates that the robot is coordinate the operation of the different components and achieve its goal.

Materials Needed:

  • Unit Guide
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Internet Access
  • Dictionaries
  • VEX Robotics Kit
  • Computers with Autodesk Inventor
  • Storage containers
  • Online Resources
  • Large container
  • Empty plastic bottles or cans

Key Terminology:

Day to Day Lesson Plan:

Day 1:

Begin this unit with an explanation of the terminology used to describe the VEXnet system. Review material on the Cortex Microcontroller and the Joysticks.


Day 2:

Continue with information on the VEXnet wireless link and introduce the classroom challenge for this unit.


Day 3:

Provide time for the students to wire and configure their robots using the building guide. Allow students to practice for the classroom competition.


Day 4:

Classroom competition


Day 5:

Student evaluation


Day 6:

Review and concepts that need addressing

Engineering Notebooks
Assessment of vocabulary
Engineering Notebook
Review any concepts that were challenging for the students.


Engineering Notebook “Seed Questions”:

  1. Explain how the microprocessor functions.
  2. Explain how the VEXnet works.
  3. Explain how you were able to use the joysticks in conjunction with the VEXnet system to pick up and score the bottles or cans in your classroom challenge.
  4. Explain how you can improve you score in the classroom challenge using the control system of the robot.