The BBC micro:bit is a powerful teaching and learning tool that helps children start coding and programming. It is also a valuable tool across the curriculum including in science, maths, design and technology, art, music and more.
What is the micro:bit?
The micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that can be coded, customised and controlled to bring digital ideas, games and apps to life. Measuring 4cm by 5cm, it’s designed for education as well as being fun and easy to use.
The micro:bit V2 can be programmed to sense, measure and log:
The micro:bit also allows children to easily explore and learn about:
The micro:bit is incredibly versatile and is suitable for use across the curriculum, for a wide range of age groups and for the hobbyist community.
It can be programmed using free online tools such as Microsoft MakeCode (the official block-based editor for micro:bit) and the micro:bit Python editor (the text-based programming tool from micro:bit). The BBC micro:bit also works with Scratch, Code.org AppLab and a wide range of other tools/editors.
In 2015 the BBC started ‘Make it Digital’, a national campaign to inspire a new generation of coders and programmers, to address a skills shortage in the UK.
As part of the initiative, the BBC partnered with 29 organisations including the IET to create a small programmable hardware device, the micro:bit. A million of these devices were created and given away to every Year 7 / S1 child in the UK, their educators, and the informal learning community.
micro:bit case studies
We asked three engineers to design a program for their micro:bit that would help them to carry out a task within their working environment or everyday life. The result is a case study booklet and associated video content for each highlighting:
the problem that the engineers faced
how the micro:bit could provide the solution
the code listing
a quiz to ensure your students have understood the code and whether they would have done anything differently to overcome the same issue.
Download the booklets and videos below, and why not consider a problem that you face on a daily basis that your micro:bit could tackle. Then head to the micro:bit website and get coding!
Abbie Hutty, Spacecraft Structures Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space, uses her micro:bit to test the parachute design which may be used to help the ExoMars Rover reach the surface of Mars as safely and efficiently as possible.
Mechanical Project Engineer Andrew Ellwood explains how Laing O’Rourke employees could use the micro:bit in a real-life application in order to manage the onset of fatigue whilst on construction sites and operating heavy machinery.
The BBC micro:bit can be used in a number of real-life applications. In this video, Rob Edmunds explains how he programmed his micro:bit to become an electronic scoreboard and game timer to be used during a canoe polo match. Coding the programmable device in this way allows the players to find out the score and remaining game time whilst out on the water.
There is a complete package of technical and educational support on the Micro:bit Educational Foundation website including dozens of projects for beginners to advanced users, free lesson plans, a guide for new users, and inspirational case studies showing how the micro:bit has been used around the world.