BBC micro:bit at Derby Mini Maker Faire 2015
We were showcasing the BBC micro:bit at the Derby Mini Maker Faire so students could have a hands-on experience before they get their BBC micro:bit.

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Kitronik's BBC micro:bit stand (left)

We were very impressed with the knowledge and programming skills that students had learnt in their ICT lessons. Most students were already learning the basic programming language 'Scratch' and some were currently learning more advanced languages such as Python and JavaScript. The students' knowledge of Scratch was useful as the 'Microsoft Block Editor' language used on the BBC micro:bit is very similar. Microsoft Blocks and Scratch are both built up by adding blocks, which ensures correct syntax as the coding takes place and no need for spending time fixing the syntax during compilation, which is a common issue faced by ICT teachers using textual languages. Lots of Students took part in programming two of our example BBC micro:bits with fantastic results. All of the students managed to program the BBC micro:bit to say their name and some went even further. One of the students even managed to build a working 'Space Invaders' game that regenerated enemies when the BBC micro:bit was shaken and included a movable spaceship complete with firing lasers! You can download the .hex file here so you can play the game on your BBC micro:bit. To get started with the BBC micro:bit; you can go to the BBC micro:bit website to access the programming software and tutorials on how to program your BBC micro:bit. Or, you can go to our own BBC micro:bit resource page where we've written a number of tutorials including how to build your very own Emoji Bag and Rocket Countdown Pencil Case.

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BBC microbit Rocket Countdown Pencil Case

At the Derby Mini Maker Faire, we were showing the applications of the BBC micro:bit including a  Rocket Countdown Pencil Case, an Edge Connector Breakout Board (showing how the BBC micro:bit's inputs and outputs can be broken out) and a Collision Detection Buggy. We wanted students to gain hands-on experience on BBC microbit. Half of our stand was set up with two PCs on the BBC micobit website so the students could have hands-on experience with the BBC micro:bit.

About the BBC microbit

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Ever since the BBC announced its Make it Digital campaign to help get Year 7 students coding, we have been supporting the BBC as a partner as they rollout the new BBC microbit, a small programmable computer that can be programmed to do almost anything. Thanks to our specialisation and unique position supporting the Education sector helping out D&T Teachers with lesson plans and teaching notes with every single kit we sell. We are helping ICT and D&T Teachers get started with the BBC micro:bit by providing them with teaching notes and a D&T Sample Pack so we can inspire the BBC micro:bit being used in more e-textile applications than ever! You can see all of the developments and tutorials relating to the BBC microbit on our dedicated BBC micro:bit resource page.

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