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.
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 micro:bit is a small, programmable computer that was developed by the BBC and a number of partners in order to encourage young people to get involved in coding and technology. It is a great educational tool that can be used to learn about programming and to create a wide variety of interactive projects.
The micro:bit has a number of built-in features, including a 5x5 LED matrix, two buttons, a temperature sensor, a compass, and a number of input/output (I/O) pins. It is programmed using a simple, block-based programming language called MakeCode, which allows users to create programs using visual blocks that represent different actions or commands.
One of the key features of the micro:bit is its versatility. It can be used to create a wide range of projects, from simple games and animations to more complex projects that involve sensors, motors, and other external components. It can also be connected to other devices, such as smartphones and tablets, via Bluetooth, allowing users to create interactive projects that can be controlled remotely or that can send and receive data.
Overall, the micro:bit is a fun and engaging way for people of all ages to learn about programming and technology, and to create their own interactive projects.
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 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
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?