micro:bit for all

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Boolean Girl a non-profit that promotes STEM education, teamed up with Virginia Tech Thinkabit Labs K-20 STEM Education and Workforce Development Programs to spark an interest in technology, computer science and engineering. Starting in school then at home, young learners get hands-on experience and make a connection between abstract ideas of coding and real world outcomes in hardware. 

The Program

Boolean Girl a local non-profit that promotes STEM education, teamed up with Virginia Tech Thinkabit Labs K-20 STEM Education and Workforce Development Programs to get a micro:bit kit in the hands of every 5th grader in the DMV (District Virginia, Maryland).  The goal of the program is to spark an interest in technology, computer science and engineering. Starting in school then at home, young learners get hands-on experience and make a connection between abstract ideas of coding and real world outcomes in hardware first in the classroom then at home. Students work with hardware and software together to design, build, and prototype physical gadgets. They work to iteratively improve a solution along the way making and learning as they create. 

Base kits will be distributed to schools. Schools that can afford them might purchase them, at cost. Other schools will receive them as part of a grant or donation from corporations, individuals, and foundations that support STEM education for younger learners.  

 

Once kits are received by the schools, teachers can use them in a wide variety of subject-area activities and experiences .  After using them in school, students will get to take them home and keep coding and building.

The Kits

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The Base Kit, collaboratively designed with the Virginia Tech Thinkabit Labs K-20 STEM Education and Workforce Development Programs, includes a micro:bit microcontroller and components to connect devices like lights and motors via the GPIO pins. 

A sensor kit and motion kit are also being added.  The sensor kit will extend the projects students can complete by adding additional sensors for measuring distance and light as well as devices like a joystick, potentiometers and buzzers. The motion kit will add motors and building blocks so students can create things that move and roll. See all the kits.

Classroom Support

Classroom teachers and other educators will receive training and support as part of the donation so they can introduce the kids to the micro:bit base kits. Additional support is available as a service or at numerous local and online events supported by Boolean Girl and Virginia Tech’s Thinkabit Labs.  

 

Free curricula will be provided so students can learn at their own pace. They will also be encouraged to attend numerous local and online events supported by Boolean Girl and Virginia Tech’s Thinkabit Lab.  

Coding in MakeCode

Microsoft MakeCode is a free online learn-to-code platform for programing a micro:bit. Anyone at any skill level can code with Makecode start with block-based coding move up to to languages like JavaScript and Python.

Microsoft’s MakeCode editor is the perfect way to start programming and get creating with the BBC micro:bit. The colour-coded blocks are familiar to anyone who’s previously used Scratch, and yet powerful enough to access all the features of the micro:bit computer. You can also switch to JavaScript to see the text-based code behind the blocks. See the editor.

 

FAQs

My school is not in the DC Metro area, can we participate?

Yes, there are several ways to participate:

1) Register now. We are in contact with donors all the time.  Many are interested in support communities closer to their offices. When we find a matching sponsor, we will contact you.   

My company would like to donate to the program, how do we do that?

You are welcome to contact us: info@booleangirl.org or make a donation directly on our webpage https://booleangirl.org/make-a-donation/.

If you have a school or district you want to sponsor we will work with you to match you with a local school of your choice.