1, 2, 3, code ! - Cycle 2 activities - Lesson 3.6. Programming Thymio (2/2)


Students take on small challenges to create their own VPL programs for Thymio. 

Key ideas
 (see Conceptual scenario)


  • The machines all around us simply follow "orders" (instructions)


  • We can give a machine instructions by using a special language called a programming language, which can be understood by both people and machines.


  • A robot is a machine that can interact with its surroundings
  • A robot has a computer that decides which actions to take in which situations.


  • A test indicates which action to perform when a condition is met.


For each group

  • A Thymio robot
  • A computer with VPL software


1 hour

Challenges: Creating new programs for Thymio (in groups)

In this formative assessment lesson, the students review the key ideas they have previously learned. The teacher will have the class do three new challenges. The students will have 20 minutes to create a program for each problem.


Challenge 1: Make Thymio move forward if its front sensor detects nothing and move backward if the sensor detects something. Link one color to each of these movements.

Second grade and third grade class, Anne-Sophie Boullis, Saint-Georges d'Orques



Challenge 2: Create a color selector. Link one color to each of Thymio's front sensors.


For this challenge, the students may realize that there is an order for the tests. For example, if two conditions are met at the same time with concurrent executions, which takes priority? Here, the execution affects Thymio's color: it cannot have two colors at the same time, so which will it choose? Answer: VPL applies the instruction with the highest number. If, for example, you simultaneously activate the "center right" sensor (Instruction no.4: turn Thymio turquoise) and the "right" sensor (Instruction no.5: turn Thymio blue): Thymio will turn blue. (Here, instructions no.5 and 4 are concurrent, but instruction no.5 is executed.)


Challenge 3: Create a musical instrument. Link a sound to each sensor.



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