Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

Use educational affordances of robotics to create CS-STEM opportunities for all learners


Robotics Academy Certified Training for VEX V5 (Onsite)

In this 5-day face-to-face teacher training, you will work with the world leaders in robotics education to learn how to teach programming and STEM using the VEX V5 robotics kit. Educators who plan to use the VEX EXP robotics system in their classrooms are welcome to join this training - almost all concepts and programming learned on the VEX V5 can be directly applied to the VEX EXP. 

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This training course offers a range of benefits for teachers and coaches who want to teach robotics and STEM concepts using VEX V5 and EXP robots and the VEXcode C++ programming software. The course is particularly well-suited for teachers and coaches who are new to programming and wish to learn the fundamentals of robot programming as well as the pedagogy associated with CS-STEM concepts. However, experienced teachers with programming and robotics backgrounds will also benefit from the course, especially with its focus on the VEX hardware, hands-on practice in troubleshooting student errors, and integration of STEM concepts.

Educators will learn how to leverage our research-based curricula including Coding and Computational Thinking with VEX V5 in their own classrooms. Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion stating 36 professional development hours in areas including robotics and coding. Teachers and coaches may also complete the included certification exam, and in doing so, become an official Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Certified Educator, authorizing them to offer similar rigorous and evidence-based certifications to their students. 

Supported Competitions and Programs

Teachers and coaches who support students in robotics competitions, such as the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC), VEX Factory Automation Competition, and Technology Student Association's (TSA) robotics competitions will find the course invaluable for gaining knowledge, techniques, and community. The course offers a practical approach to learning, with a focus on hands-on activities and problem-solving exercises that will help educators better understand the concepts and develop effective teaching strategies. Teachers using Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum are welcome to join and will benefit from a deeper understanding of the programming, computational thinking, pedagogical concepts, robot hardware, and troubleshooting techniques we focus on. The Project Lead the Way teachers we have worked with have found our training to be a highly valuable complement to the PTLW training.

Alignment with Standards

Our courses are aligned to:

  • Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Standards
  • National Research Council Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Common Core Mathematics Standards (CCSS)
  • College Board Computer Science Principles (CSP) Framework
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCELA)
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards
  • International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) Standards

By taking this course, teachers can gain a range of benefits, including customizable learning, networking opportunities, and the chance to earn professional development credits and a Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Certification. Most importantly, the course empowers teachers to effectively teach robotics and CS-STEM concepts, helping their students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills that are essential for success in the 21st-century workforce.

Teachers learning VEX V5


Session 1: Set up and System overview
Course Logistics
Robot System Overview
- VEX V5 System Overview
- VEX EXP System Overview
- Updating System Firmware
- VEXcode Overview
Robot Brain Programming 
- Print Text to V5 Brain Screen
- Detect V5 Brain Screen Press
- Idle Loops
Program Planning
- Role of Programmer vs. Machine
- Behavior-Based Programming
- Pseudocoding

Session 2: Autonomous Movement
Robot Movement
- Moving Forward and Backward
- Turning Left and Right
- Turning with the Inertial Sensor
- Arm Control
- Claw Control
- Basic Functions
- Functions with Parameters
STAR Troubleshooting
- Icebergs
- Sample Problems
Computational Thinking
- Sequential Programming
- Abstraction & Decomposition
Session 3: Better Autonomous Movement
- Storing and Retrieving Data
- Performing Calculations
Sensor-Based Movement
- Sense-Plan-Act
- Loops
- Move until Touch (Bumper Switch)
- Lower Arm until Bumper Press (Bumper Switch)
Computational Thinking
- Data and Information
Session 4: Remote Control and Competition Programming
Built-in Remote Control 
Programmed Remote Control 
- Robot Movement
- Arm and Claw Control
- If-else
Operator Assist
- Logical Operators
VEX EDR Competitions
- Competition Template
- Competition Testing
Session 5: Additional Sensor Based Movement
Vision Sensor
- Configuration
- Programming
Line Tracking (Line Tracking Kit)
- Calculating Thresholds
Distance Sensor
- Forward until Near
Optical Sensor
- Forward until Color
Computational Thinking
- Algorithms
The course allowed for my success on multiple levels. It was just what I needed to be able to move my Robotics II class to the next level.


Class attendees use Robotic Academy’s computers, robot kits, curriculum, and programming software during the week. No extra purchases of any hardware or software for this course are necessary. 

Tuition Cost - $1099

Use the links to the right to register or checkout instantly. 

Tuition includes 5 days of on-site training and use of Robotic Academy’s computers, robot kits, curriculum, and programming software during the week. You do not need to purchase any hardware or software for this course. Lunch is provided as part of tuition Monday through Thursday.

Upon Completion

– ACT 48 credits / 36 hours per class (for Pennsylvania teachers only)
– Certificate of Completion of course ‘graduates’ – may be used to apply for Continuing Education hours

Class Eligibility

Classes at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy are available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age to enroll. The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy reserves the right to restrict, suspend or terminate any student for violation of these policies. In consideration of your involvement with the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, you agree to provide true, accurate and current information about yourself when you register. If you provide any information that is inaccurate or if the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy has reasonable grounds to suspect the information is inaccurate, the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy has the right to terminate your account.


Purchasing a seat gives access to one participant only. Resources distributed as part of the class are for use of the participant only. Purchase Orders are also acceptable. Please contact the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy at for information about registering for the course and payment for the course. Please email if you have questions about the content of the course.


The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy will offer partial refunds for tuition expenses only if class registrants contact us prior to the class filling up. To be fair to the registrants in the sessions, we cannot give refunds once a class is full.

Copyrighted Class Material

All course documents are owned by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy. These materials may not be reprinted in any form except those specified for instructional purposes. The course documents and presentations may be displayed and printed for personal, non-commercial use only. Only students registered for this course may access this material. The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy makes every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date content. However, we have no liability for the accuracy, content, or accessibility of the hyperlinks included with class material.

Use of Student Material

The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy reserves the right to use coursework done by students for the purpose of advancing the educational mission of the Academy. When this occurs, students will be given the option to have their name credited to the material. This includes, but is not limited to, text, graphics, multimedia and other material created as part of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy online course assignments.


You agree to indemnify and hold the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy harmless from any and all losses, actions, controversies, suits, demands, claims, liabilities or any causes of action whatsoever. You expressly agree that the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy is not responsible or liable for any infringement of another’s rights, including intellectual property rights.

Note: Policies are subjected to occasional revisions.