VR World

BBC Gives Away a Million Free micro:bits to Schools

Yes, everybody is a winner here! BBC decided to give away a million free micro:bits to schools, entertaining the science values in school children across the country. ARM, Freescale and Samsung are part of this, giving their full support to the worthy plan. There are several companies which gave full support to the BBC micro:bit pocket computer. It will be given to all Year 7 children in the UK in the Autumn.

The companies have supported the project from concept to reality in close partnership with the BBC’s engineering teams. Additionally, this has been a cooperation that also includes 29 partners with the mentioned ARM, Barclays, BBC, but adding element14, Freescale, Lancaster University, Microsoft, Nordic Semiconductor, Samsung, ScienceScope, Technology Will Save Us and the Wellcome Trust who also participated.

This will allow year 7 children to fully experience technical work and programming at an early age. This will create them or better yet, implant a desire to pursue this science category later in life as young professionals. The UK currently faces a critical skills shortage in the technology sector, and the BBC and our partners aim to help change that. This idea challenges that issue and hopefully it will be able to turn it around. The small computer is sized only 4×5 centimeters, but it allows children to do so much with it – it allows you to code, customise and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life.

Something simple can be coded in seconds – like lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern – with no prior knowledge of computing. All that’s needed is imagination and creativity. In a nutshell, it brings us back to the good ol’ days of simple programming, learning the programming language and simple tricks and actions, which will, in later life naturally, allow the children to have the solid foundations in the technology and programming world.

Simon Segars, CEO ARM: “Technology is now as much a part of childhood as riding a bicycle or kicking a football but going from user to innovator is something we still need to encourage. The BBC and Acorn Computers, where ARM® technology was first created, came together 35 years ago to develop the BBC Micro and that inspired the engineers now at the forefront of shaping our increasingly connected world. The new BBC micro:bit has even greater potential because it can inspire boys and girls toward a career in technology at a time of unprecedented demand for science and engineering skills across all areas of the global economy.”

Geoff Lees, Senior Vice President of Microcontrollers at Freescale® Semiconductor: “The Internet of Tomorrow is bringing almost limitless possibility to interact with the world around us and the new BBC micro:bit with its unique ability to detect and measure both movement and direction, as well as sensing location and surroundings, should truly encourage more young people to get involved and to experiment and create in the digital world. The BBC Make it Digital initiative is set to play a critical role in helping to unleash imagination and creativity within the next generation technology innovators and visionaries of tomorrow, and this aligns perfectly with our own commitment to world-class education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).”

Andy Griffiths, President of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland: “At Samsung, we’re very excited to bring the micro:bit to life with the BBC. Our engineers are enabling the micro:bit to communicate with everyday digital devices such as phones and tablets to allow young people to code inside and outside of the classroom. It’s a great way to showcase the capabilities of this technology and we’re looking forward to seeing how creative people can get with coding, whether that’s programming their micro:bit to take a ‘selfie’ via their phone camera or coding it to flash when they get an incoming call, the possibilities are limitless.”