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Intro to Programming with Tracy and micro:bit

The Introduction to Programming with Tracy and micro:bit course merges the Physical Computing with micro:bit and the Introduction to Python with Tracy courses. The Tracy course will provide the prerequisite information needed before students apply programming concepts to their physical micro:bit device.


Units: 9
Timeframe: Semester
Contact Hours: 80

By the Numbers

Contact Hours 80
Lessons 41
Videos 47
Exercises 63
Challenges 11
Offline Handouts 117


Unit Description
Tracy's World: Students learn about the world Tracy lives in and how to form commands that she will understand!
Moving Tracy Efficiently: Students build on the commands they've learned to instruct Tracy around all parts of her world.
Designing and Communicating Solutions: Students explore useful ways to break down large problems to write readable and successful programs.
Controlling Tracy with Variables: Students learn to use variables and user input to control their Tracy commands.
Intro to micro:bit: Students go through the basics of the micro:bit, such as how to light up and change the brightness of LEDs, and learn how variables can be used to write more versatile programs. Students will build circuits to control external LEDs with the micro:bit and explore how pseudocode can be used to structure programs from the start.
Making Decisions: Students use if-else statements and while loops to instruct Tracy to make decisions based on conditions.
Program Control with micro:bit: Students will apply control structures, such as if/else statements and loops to create programs that will react to the outside world. They will build programs that use the built-in sensors that detect temperature, light, and acceleration, as well as external sensors, such as an ultrasonic range finder, which detects the distance from the device to nearby objects.
Tracy Challenges: Students put together all they've learned to create more advanced programs!
Advanced micro:bit: Students will have a chance to explore all of the capabilities of the micro:bit on their own! They will research, explore, and teach their peers about new sensors, follow directions to build an advanced device, and have a chance to create their very own micro:bit machine.

Format of Course

This course utilizes a blended classroom approach. The content is provided through a mix of web-based and physical exercises, with students writing and running code in the browser and then downloading code to their physical devices for further testing and exploration. Each unit is broken down into lessons which are made up of video tutorials, short quizzes, pseudocode exercises, physical explorations, example programs, and written programming exercises. The course is designed for a semester long class that meets 5 days per week, though schools implement it in a variety of ways.

Required Materials

For students to fully experience the physical computing portion of this course, they’ll need access to a few materials. These include the micro:bit device, various wires to connect external components and sensors, and breadboards which allow for more complex circuit builds. A complete list can be found at
In the final physical computing module of the course, students will explore additional sensors on their own and teach their peers how they can be incorporated in different projects. You may provide options or allow students to research various sensors on their own, but these should be provided to students in addition to the required materials list.

Who is it for?

The Intro to Programming with Tracy and micro:bit course is designed for complete beginners with no previous background in computer science. The course is highly visual, dynamic, and interactive making it engaging for new coders.

Physical Computing Demos

Students begin by developing simple programs utilizing on screen LEDs:
Moving Bright Box Exercise
They move on to write programs that utilize internal and external sensors:
Brightness by Acceleration Exercise
And complete the course writing programs that include control structures and external components:
Challenge: LED Arrow Following Servo


Interested in teaching the Introduction to Programming with Tracy and micro:bit course with CodeHS? Get in touch, so we can help you bring CodeHS to your school!

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Intro to Programming with Tracy and micro:bit is aligned with the following standards

Standards Framework View Alignment
Alaska 6-8 View (53.8%)
California 6-8 View (58.3%)
CSTA 2 View (47.8%)
Georgia Foundations of Computer Programming View (60.6%)
Maryland 6-8 View (43.9%)
Wyoming 6-8 View (44%)
Virginia MS CS Elective View (42.3%)
New Jersey 6-8 Computer Science View (44%)
Utah 6 View (42.9%)
Utah 7 View (75%)
Utah 8 View (83.3%)