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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D & T
  • Computing
  • Science

School pick-up using the BBC micro:bit

Designing and programming a school pick up system that parents can use to safely collect their children at the end of the school day

This activity will see learners designing and programming a system that allows parents or guardians to safely pick up their children from school at the end of the day. This task offers students a real-world problem to solve, making the learning experience both interactive and fun for learners.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the primary national curriculum, particularly KS2. This is part of our series of resources designed to support the use of the BBC micro:bit in primary school design & technology (DT), computing and engineering lessons.

Activity: Designing and programming a school pick up system that parents can use to safely collect their children at the end of the school day

In this activity, learners will create a complete programmable system using the BBC micro:bit. The system will allow parents or guardians to safely access the school to collect their children. Learners will first analyse a design brief and criteria, then they will choose between designing and producing the programming themselves, or using pre-written programs that they can download straight onto their devices and/or edit as they go through.

The engineering context

Programmable systems are essential more modern-day technology to function, powering everything from smartphones to aircraft control systems. For system engineers, it's crucial to master programming these systems to keep up with our evolving tech landscape. A practical example of this is using programmable systems to enhance school safety.

By designing a programmed school pick-up system, learners can see how these systems can solve real-world problems and improve societal safety measures. This exercise is not just about learning to code but understanding the broad impact of programmable systems on our society.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, learners will have gained practical experience in designing a programmable system, integrating multiple micro:bits, and associated coding to create a single system. They will have developed an understanding of the role of design and technology in solving real-world problems, enhancing their problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills.

Examples of the BBC micro:bit programs

Click here to open the program directly in the microbit code editor or download the programs below to open in your existing editor.

Stater program

Parent program

Child program

Gate program

These programs can be downloaded as .hex files below via the 'Download all' button. 

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

Download our classroom lesson plan and PowerPoint presentation below.

Please do share your highlights with us @IETeducation. 

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