Schools up and down the UK will from tomorrow be receiving their free BBC micro:bits, as a million students are given an introduction to the world of coding, and skills in computational thinking. The device has been specifically designed for students starting with little or no computing experience, to show them that they can progress and ultimately create the type of computer games and other programmes and apps that they use every day.
Some teachers and students were given advanced access to the BBC micro:bit, allowing them to lead the way in teaching and developing skills and lesson plans across a range of subjects, and we've been lucky enough to have them sharing their thoughts and ideas with us at a number of events, including BETT 2016, the Education Show, and our Microsoft Showcase Schools Redefining Learning tour:
— Microsoft Education (@microsofteduk) March 17, 2016
Last November, teachers and students at a London school welcomed two very special guests to show them how they had been using the BBC micro:bit so far. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and BBC Director General Lord Tony Hall visited Eastlea Community School and were suitably impressed by the range and imagination of the projects that the students had embarked upon as a result of being inspired by their use of the BBC micro:bit:
And just this month we saw the first instance of a BBC micro:bit going into space (well, 106,000ft to be precise!), as Rishworth School in West Yorkshire attached their micro:bit to a helium balloon. This was the focal point of an ambitious space project that you can learn more about in the video below, or on the BBC's Make It Digital page.
These are just a few examples of how the BBC micro:bit is inspiring young minds to engage with a variety of different areas of study, while developing valuable computational thinking and coding skills. We can't wait to see what the rest of the UK can come up with once they receive their BBC micro:bits from tomorrow!