EVERY child has an inner inventor. I remember when I was a kid, getting excited over all the little build-your-own kits I was able to get my hands on. Technology opens up possibilities and can help us achieve near-miraculous things, but it can also be complicated. In fact, it is so complicated these days that it can sometimes seem completely out of reach.
Launched last year, the BBC micro:bit, a pocket-sized, programmable computer, was designed to change this. The aim was to help every child unlock their creativity with technology, and the device was given free to a million 11-year-olds across the UK, introducing them to the world of invention. Already, a number of exciting micro:bit projects have been brought to life, from acceleration measurement in rocket cars to helping people with autism recognise other people’s emotional states.
Following the success of the BBC project, the Micro:bit Educational Foundation was born. It’s a not-for-profit organisation that will support the global roll-out of the micro:bit. As the CEO of the Foundation I now have the chance to work with teachers, governments and organisations around the world to help spread digital literacy, and make an impact on people’s lives and futures.
A country’s most valuable source of innovation is its youth. Helping young people experience the self-fulfilment of digital creativity is vital for motivating the next generation of inventors. Our research has already confirmed that the micro:bit has encouraged children to consider pursuing science, technology, engineering and maths in the future. With the support of our partners, including the BBC and technology companies ARM, Microsoft and Samsung, we will continue to inspire them.
The micro:bit is being spread around the world as a grassroots effort – and you can get involved by helping a child, a local school or a coding club get started with it.
Zach Shelby, CEO Micro:bit Educational Foundation
For more information on how you can get involved visit microbit.org