The Micro:bit Educational Foundation celebrates first year!

The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is a year old and what a year! This time last October, the BBC micro:bit was handed over to the Foundation after the 1 million micro:bit UK give-away and we announced our plans of introducing this wonderful, educational device to the world!

In this amazing twelve months, we have seen a rapid expansion across the globe, with the micro:bit on sale in over 30 countries, including recent launches in North America, Japan and India, and close to 100 resellers. We’re firm believers in guaranteeing educators in schools and clubs have the tools they need to ensure each micro:bit has maximum impact, and to make sure everybody has that opportunity we have been empowering children, teachers and parents in over 50 countries with sponsored micro:bits and supporting resources.

We've also been updating the micro:bit website with exciting new features and editors and making it easier to use in preparation for the 2017/2018 school year. We have now released a new JavaScript Blocks Editor and an updated Python editor – check them out at http://microbit.org/code. Don't worry, if you still need the original editors they are still available.

To make sure all these things are happening, the Foundation team has grown from three seconded staff in its first weeks to currently 18 and we now operate from four countries. Despite the scale of things, we still manage to meet-up every week for a chat and (virtual) cuppa and of course an online Birthday celebration - see the cakes we made above. We also had our first summer internship when seventeen-year-old inventor Ross Lowe joined us for six weeks. He has been brilliant, working closely with us on a number of fantastic projects. The micro:bit Community has also been growing; we now have over 50 working members in our wider Community. We’re a close-knit bunch who share the same vision, that in the future every child will be an inventor.

It is not just the Foundation’s work we are celebrating. We have been supporting people and projects in the UK and all over the globe, such as Mannapperuma, 24, the founder of micro:bit Sri Lanka User Group. He heads a growing team of 150 volunteers who fan out all over Sri Lanka - firing up over 2000 students with the micro:bit and the message that writing computer code is no arcane art but within the reach of inquisitive fingers and curious minds.

Croatian based IRIM, lead by Nenad Bakic, started a crowdfunding campaign, BBC Micro:bit STEM revolution in schools, working towards the goal of every child in the 6th grade in Croatia being given access to micro:bit. The project was met with an incredible enthusiasm from the public and raised its first target in just a few days and went on to hit three further targets within two weeks. In the end, the original goal was surpassed by 480% raising over $314,000 to fund micro:bits in Croatian schools. Mr Bakic himself contributed a further $60k to the fund, which has already helped over 1000 primary schools, libraries and universities in Croatia.

Thanks to dedicated librarian Amy Hearn and a successful project with the UK library service and the hard work of their teams, you can now borrow a micro:bit from over 750 libraries across the UK. There are more providers signing up every week and we’re hoping soon every library in the country will have micro:bits ready to borrow! You can read more about it here.


Of course, the reality is it is not about the Foundation; it’s been amazing and humbling to see the projects and creations from young people, such as these from our Challenge Competitions earlier this year. Joseph, aged 15, won our Mothers and Carers challenge for his package of useful micro:bit utilities. Written in Python, his micro:bit apps included: an alarm clock; teeth brushing alarm; door opening alarm and key finder plus an impressive video explaining how they are all used. Seb, aged 7, won our Christmas challenge for his sleigh that lights up and plays music automatically when Santa picks up the reins. Seb写道:“灯亮起来很好看,圣诞老人不用拉缰绳也可以告诉驯鹿什么时候出发了。” 如果圣诞老人不想在发礼物的时候吵醒男孩女孩们,关闭起来也很快、很简单。” Seb built his working device with a micro:bit (of course) Lego, metal foil and a toy horse.

It has been hugely encouraging to know research shows we have been doing a good job. The BBC released statistics this year showing in its first year the BBC micro:bit definitely changed attitudes amongst UK students and teachers towards coding and ICT/computing. For last year’s Year 7 students in England and Wales and the equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland who used the BBC micro:bit:

  • 90%的学生认为BBC micro:bit帮助他们认识到每个人都能编程
  • 88%的学生认为BBC micro:bit让他们认识到编程不是他们想象中那么难
  • 45%的学生说他们在未来一定会选择ICT/电脑闹技术作为一门学科选项,在使用BBC micro:bit之前只有36%这样认为。 This was even more accentuated for girls, increasing from 23% before they used BBC micro:bit to 39% afterwards, a 70% increase

并且,在老师们当中:

  • 75% have or are intending to use the BBC micro:bit by the end of the summer term
  • 85%的老师表示同意micro: bit 让他们的学生对ICT/计算机科学的学习更加感兴趣。
  • 80% 的老师认为它帮助学生认识编程并不像他们想像得那样困难
  • Half of teachers who’ve used the BBC micro:bit say they now feel more confident as a teacher, particularly those who say they’re not very confident in teaching Computing.

It has been an amazing year and we are looking forward to the next one and taking further steps towards the Foundation’s goal of inspiring more than 100 million children across the globe. We could not have done this on our own and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has worked with us on this incredible journey and supporting us along the way. This is all your work!