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Grades 2-5
4, 5
Grades 6-8

Małgorzata RabendaPETE

Mathematical race

programming • maths
Duration time:
45 min.
Programming interface:
Scratch 3.0 (Photon Magic Bridge)Scratch 3.0
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Class goal:

  • To practice analytic and problem-solving skills
  • To learn writing down solutions in the form of an algorithm
  • To translate own algorithm into Scratch language and prepare a program
  • To practice using variables, conditional instructions, and loops in the program
  • To practice mental calculations

Teaching methods:

  • design thinking

Type of exercise:

  • group

Required items:

  • A tablet (to operate and program the robot)
  • Black marker and a sheet of paper
  • A ball to play in a circle (or anything to throw)

Lesson scenario:

1. Physical activity - calculations

Ask the students to form a circle. Then start asking: “What is 3x4?” and throw the ball to a selected student. The student who caught the ball must give the correct answer to ask a similar maths question to another child. If you clap during the game, children change to the next type of mathematical operation, for example, from addition to subtraction.

2. Issue presentation

Explain to the students that now they will take part in a math competition with the Photon Robots. At least two robots are required for the competition. The competition aims to determine the mental calculations winner. First, you need to ask the students to prepare an application (game) to make this competition possible.

3. Preparations:

Divide your students into groups. Present the group working principles, including the process of creating an application according to the Design Thinking methodology:

  • Empathize
  • Define the problem
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

You can find out more about the Design Thinking methodology in one of these resources:

4. The main part


  • Students design in groups a math competition (a game) involving the Photon Robot.
  • Note: Students’ ideas may vary a lot. One of the solutions you could suggest is to prepare an application testing students’ knowledge of the multiplication table. The Photon Robot moves one field (a set distance) forward in the finish line’s direction for each correct answer. This idea makes it easy to determine the winner of the “mathematical race.”

5. Summary

Organize a presentation of student projects. 

Hold the mathematical competition using applications created by each group or one selected group.

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