Canada to receive 100,000 micro:bits to encourage the nation to code

Canadian elementary school students and teachers will receive 100,000 micro:bits in a new initiative to encourage students to code. The micro:bits will be used by young people across Canada through a multi-partner agreement led by KidsCode Jeunesse, a national non-profit organization aiming to enhance digital skills for Canadian children in every province and territory across the country.

"Coding skills are highly relevant in today's scientific and technological careers, and they will only become more important in the future. That's why it is essential that we teach these skills to young Canadians today so they have an advantage when they choose to pursue a career as a scientist, researcher or engineer. Our government is proud to support their curiosity, their ambition and their desire to build a bolder, brighter future for all Canadians."
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

Founded in 2013, KidsCode Jeunesse is a bilingual non-profit with a mission to provide the opportunity to learn to code for every child in Canada. Recognising the importance of digital skills in the jobs of the future, the organisation aims to promote coding by delivering devices, workshops, and training throughout the country.

KCJ has partnered with a number of organisations to achieve their goal of inspiring the next generation of coders; the latest ‘Code Create Teach’ campaign will see the launch of free ‘crash courses’ in coding for K-12 educators in every province and territory across Canada, followed by the delivery of 100,000 micro:bits across the nation.

"I am so excited to be joining KCJ at this pivotal moment on their journey. What makes KCJ so unique is their dedication to community. They have done incredible work to integrate code and digital making skills, building sustainability across communities. KCJ enables new pathways for Canadian children to become digital leaders."
– Indra Kubicek, Finance and Operations Director, Kids Code Jeunesse

In partnership with Lighthouse Labs, Newark element14, and the Federal Government’s CanCode program, KCJ aims to empower students across Canada to code.

Newark element14 is the exclusive manufacturer of micro:bits through its parent company Premier Farnell, and will be the sole distributor of the micro:bits in Canada in partnership with The Micro:bit Educational Foundation.

Lighthouse Labs is an “immersive, modern approach to teaching web and mobile software development” and has introduced over 20,000 Canadians to code since 2013.

Announced in the 2017 budget, KidsCode Jeunesse will also receive $6 million in funds from the federal government’s CanCode program (jointly created by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Ministry of Science), with further plans to invest $50 million by March 2019 to increase opportunities to master digital skills for over 1 million youth and thousands of educators. KCJ will use the money to deliver training workshops in every province and territory, working with other recipients (such as Let’s Talk Science) to maximise the impact of the program.

The program is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a “multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it”.

This co-operation between a multitude of partners encapsulates the ethos of The Micro:bit Educational Foundation and our overall goal to inspire & empower through code across the globe.