On Tuesday we attended the launch of the BBC’s exciting new micro:bit project in London. As a partner organisation of the BBC’s flagship Make It Digital initiative, which aims to get more young people across the UK involved in digital making and computer science, Code Club couldn’t be more excited to see the new micro:bit revealed in all its pocket-sized glory!
The micro:bit, measuring just 4cm by 5cm, is a stripped down computer which children can use to code and create anything they set their minds to! It’s intended as a starter device to give children a basic introduction to physical computing and tinkering, so that they can move on to using the more advanced machines such as Arduino, Galileo and Kano.
Key features of the micro:bit include:
- A display consisting of 25 red LEDs
- Two programmable buttons
- On-board motion sensor or “accelerometer”
- A built-in compass or “magnetometer”
- Bluetooth Smart Technology
- Three Input and Output (I/O) rings
The introduction of the micro:bit has been inspired by the success of the BBC Micro back in the 1980s (a tool which gave a lot of our Code Club volunteers their first hands-on experience with coding and computer science).
Speaking at Tuesday’s event the BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall said: “Just as the BBC Micro introduced millions to personal computers 30 years ago, the BBC micro:bit can help equip a new generation with the digital skills they need to find jobs and help grow the UK economy.”
We’ll be supporting the BBC micro:bit initiative by creating a set of learning resources for the device, which will be available to use in our Code Clubs to help children harness the power of the device and to see the impact that programming can have on their day-to-day lives.
Children will learn introductory programming and computational thinking concepts, and apply them in making a range of fun programs for their micro:bit.
We’re also really thrilled that the BBC will be providing us with 20,000 micro:bits so that our Code Club members and volunteers can get a chance to use them too – for free! Stay tuned for further details coming soon.
*Big thanks to our volunteers Joseph Haig, Marc Burrage and Stephen Manson who gave us a helping hand at the launch event :)