BBC micro:bit – what’s it all about?
How does it work and what can it do? We investigate…
One million UK school kids have been handed a mini piece of technology, just ahead of Easter.
Year 7 students across the UK have been given a BBC micro:bit – a small, wearable piece of tech that can be programmed to do a number of nifty things.
Much like a tiny, pocket-sized computer, the BBC micro:bit encourages kids to learn basic coding and programming skills to prepare them for today’s tech-savvy world. It follows on from the BBC Micro, which helped introduce the nation to computing back in the 1980s – when computers looked a whole lot different to the cool ones we have today!
The micro:bit can be programmed to do a number of different things, it can be a digital watch, fitness tracker or a games console.
The device features 25 LED lights and two programmable buttons, which can be used in game-play or to skip through tracks in a playlist. It also features an on-board compass to track the direction of the wearer.
Each micro:bit comes with a USB, cable and battery holder.
To programme a micro:bit, kids simply need to connect it to their computer and add some simple lines of code to create the device they want.
The hope is that all those computer science skills might inspire a new generation of avid game developers, super software programmers and wacky website builders. Your BBC micro:bit could be where it all starts…
What can I do with my BBC micro:bit?
Fashion – make a digital watch, brooch or other accessory that can display the time, your own design or message.
Fitness – count your steps with a DIY version of something like the ‘Fitbit’, or create an obstacle course and use the micro:bit in a balancing game.
Games – create retro mobile phone games everybody loved like ‘Snake’ or your very own game ideas. Or try using it as a scoreboard or timer for other sorts of games.
Music – connect the micro:bit to your phone and control your music player, compose a piece of music, or even use a banana as a music keyboard!
Cooking – create a digital egg timer, or attach the micro:bit to a thermometer to get the perfect temperature for your Mary Berry Victoria Sponge.
Home & garden – place a sensor in the soil and connect it to the micro:bit, it can tell you when the plant is happy with a simple smile 🙂 or is in need of a drink with a frown 🙁
Check out more BBC micro:bit ideas at microbit.co.uk!