Turtle Island Instructions

Complete the Turtle Museum and Navigation Challenge.  Then go on to the Puzzle Challenge.  These are all training activities to prepare you for your first assignment:  writing a program for a turtle to build a house.

Learning Objectives

Master the controls:  moving your character, managing inventory and tools, using the turtle remote

Understand constraints of the environment and tools:  what can robot turtles do, what can’t they do, how do you control them, what do the special blocks mean that allow turtles to be placed, prevent player movement, allow or prevent building, etc.

Programming:  transition from controlling the turtle step by step to writing programs of multiple steps and repeating loops of your instructions.

Problem solving:  Use the materials and tools (robot, remote) to solve problems and progress to the end of each challenge.  The solutions are not always obvious.  Persist, experiment, form hypotheses and test them to achieve the solution.


In addition to this page, please review the Turtle Island instructions and tips on the MinecraftEdu wiki.

The Turtle Island spawn point has traders and guides.  ctrl-click them to interact.  Not everything is available initially.

Interact with Steve to get a turtle remote.  Read the books you are given for tips.

We won’t be using the traders or special treasures like the cracked/perfect green orb reward from the Museum quest, so you can ignore them.

Turtle Museum

Talk to the Museum Curator and he will offer to teleport you to the museum.  Examine the blocks and signs at the base of the museum to understand how they impact what you can do.

Explore the museum and its exhibits to learn more about the robot turtles.

The quiz at the end is a little glitchy and does not always give you the reward of a perfect green orb.  Don’t worry about it.

When done, use a teleporter to return to the spawn point.  Or press your “M” key and click the checkerboard button to return to the spawn point.  Then go on to the Navigation Quest.

Navigation Challenge

Go to the teleporter station behind the guides.  ctrl-click it to choose your teleport destination.  At this point there will just be one:  the Navigation Challenge.

Choose the numbered doorway matching your computer number.  Do not enter if you are unsure which one is for you.  Once you enter, it shuts behind you, preventing others from getting into your area and preventing you from leaving.  If you use the “M” key and teleport back to the spawn area it will be difficult to get you back into the challenge, so please don’t do that!

Do not get separated from your turtle.  Don’t just drive your turtle far away from your player avatar.  You need to get both your person (avatar) and your turtle through the challenge.

There are parts where you need to position your turtle and use it as a platform to climb or jump over an obstacle.

When you get to the “assistant” turtle on top of a ledge, look at the comments in its program.  Position your turtle on the blue circle in front of the assistant and run the assistant’s program with the “play” button (triangle pointing right).  It will break your turtle so you can pick it up and drop down to the gold pressure plates below you.  At that point you finish Navigation Quest Part 1 and start Navigation Quest Part 2.

Puzzle Challenge

Here is a short video to help you get started with the Puzzle Challenge.  Be sure to watch it as it has many tips to get you started.


Do not get separated from your turtle

Place “Home” blocks periodically to give you an option to return to a safe place.  Press the “M” key at any time to access the button to teleport to your most recently placed Home block.

Turtles can only be placed on the green circle blocks

At the beginning there is a part where you need to stand on your turtle to get over a wall:  once over the wall, get your turtle back with your person (don’t get separated!)

If your turtle says it is locked: break it with a pick, pick it up, and re-place it.