Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

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

Virtual Robot Curriculum

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy's Virtual Robot Curriculum features a programming interface and virtual robot embedded directly within the curriculum. Teachers and students can follow along with the included videos, animations, challenges, and step-by-step lessons using a fully virtual solution.
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Key Features:

  • Students and teachers can learn anytime and anywhere, even without physical robot kits or programming software installed on their computers. 
  • The curriculum provides the virtual robot, simulated challenge table, and programming environment needed to complete each lesson, just-in-time.
  • The CS-STEM Network saves all student progress, including their programs for the virtual robot. No file management 
  • No downloads or updates are required. The latest version of the curriculum and virtual robots is always provided. 
  • The curriculum and virtual tools build on Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy's long history in reaching meaningful learning outcomes in coding, computational thinking, and mathematics using (virtual and physical) robots. 

Featured Curriculum:

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The Coding and Computational Thinking with a VIrtual Robot curriculum features a brand-new bot: "VICE" (short for Virtual-Integrated Curriculum Environment). VICE packs a wide variety of sensors (touch, color, distance, gyro) to detect its environment, outputs (pixel display, speaker, LCD, LED) to communicate with you, and motors (drivetrain, arm, claw) to navigate its environment and manipulate objects. This curriculum is broken down into 9 units: Getting Started, Programming the Hub, Robot Movement, Digital Sensors, Analog Sensors, Loops, Discrete Decisions, Capstone: Subterranean Challenge, and Continuous Decisions. Over 75 programmable virtual environments are embedded throughout, allowing students to learn big ideas in robotics, coding, computational thinking, and mathematics. 

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The Coding and Computational Thinking with Virtual SPIKE Prime curriculum is broken down into 8 units: Getting Started, Programming the Hub, Robot Movement, Wait Until & Sensors, Loops, Discrete Decisions, Capstone: Subterranean Challenge, and Continuous Decisions. Over 75 programmable virtual environments are embedded throughout, allowing students to learn big ideas in robotics, coding, computational thinking, and mathematics. 

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RoboCamp with Virtual SPIKE Prime is a shorter, informal curriculum that teaches basic programming, proportional mathematics, robotics, and other STEM concepts at an introductory level. RoboCamp is designed with carefully scaffolded virtual activities appropriate for both formal and informal educational settings. All of the activities and challenges use a custom virtual SPIKE Prime build in a space-like environment. Get ready for take-off!  

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The Introduction to Programming with Virtual LEGO EV3 curriculum includes over 70 virtual environments so that students can follow along with all lesson content. There are two versions of the curriculum, one that contains all of the material for both physical robots AND virtual robots, and one that is virtual-only. 

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Technical Details:

  • Virtual Robot Curriculum is delivered through the CS-STEM Network (www.cs2n.org)
  • Licenses for Virtual Robot Curriculum may be purchased online instantly on CS2N.org, through the CMU Bookstore or Purchase Order
    • Purchasing from the CS2N.org link will apply the seats directly to your account. Use this link if you have a CS2N.org account and are purchasing for yourself. 
    • Whether purchasing through the CMU Bookstore or Purchase Order, please remember to specify the CS-STEM Network account that the licenses should be applied to.
      • Please allow 1-2 business days for your order to be processed and your licenses to be applied to your CS-STEM Network.
  • Licenses for Virtual Robot Curriculum are "Per-User, Perpetual"
    • Licenses are applied to CS-STEM Network user accounts. 
    • Students and teachers can learn and iterate at their own pace.
    • Licenses are non-transferrable. The CS-STEM Network saves all of the individual student/teacher progress associated with each license. 
    • Licenses are non-refundable once they have been applied to a CS-STEM Network user account. 
  • Use of the Virtual Robot Curriculum is subject to the Terms of Service defined on the CS-STEM Network.
  • The Virtual Robot Curriculum is best supported on Internet-connected Windows PC's, Macs, and Chromebooks. 
  • Licenses are non-refundable once they have been applied to a CS-STEM Network user account.