element14 Support Product-Led Educational Initiatives Globally with BBC micro:bit

Latest program to support STEM learning provides interactive how-to videos that make electronics accessible

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Bangalore, India – January 16, 2020: element14, the manufacturer and distributor of the BBC micro:bit, is working to support product-led educational initiatives globally. Programs supported by element14 aim to create fun and interactive learning opportunities for students to develop an understanding of computing and electronics at a young age, and build a pathway to a range of engineering and technology-driven careers.

One of the latest programs to be supported by element14 is the series of how-to videos featuring BBC micro:bit that are part of the element14 Community’s element14Presents: The Learning Circuit video series. In these instructional videos, host Karen Corbeill takes viewers through different ways to learn and explore with BBC micro:bit. These short videos teach users how to apply BBC micro:bit to their designs and offer instruction and advice on bringing projects to life.

“Getting started with electronics can be quite daunting,” said Karen Corbeill. “BBC micro:bit is a great gateway tool with an amazing number of features for such a low price point. From being able to program using code blocks or simply clipping on accessories without having to solder or even just grabbing a piece of pre-programmed code, it is a wonderful way to get newbies hooked on electronics.”

element14 also continues to work with governments, re-sellers and strategic partnerships to support product-led educational initiatives globally. The BBC micro:bit has experienced significant success since its launch through a program led by the BBC in the UK in 2016. Since this date, over 2.5m micro:bit boards have been sold globally, supporting programs as far flung as Denmark, Canada and Singapore. Sales of this popular coding device almost doubled in the last 12 months, over the previous period, with more than half of sales supporting broad educational programs.

The latest program is currently being rolled out in Norway. Entitled “super:bit”, this project is a collaboration between the national science centers, the organization “Teach kids code” and national broadcaster NRK, in Norway. The national rollout provides a classroom kit of technology to each of the 2,400 secondary schools in Norway, over two years, starting in September 2019. The kits have an interactive smart city theme and pupils will learn how to use the micro:bit through applications such as planning traffic flow around green spaces by using sensors to control traffic lights. The kits, shipped by Farnell, element14’s parent company, include BBC micro:bits, robots, and other electronic and non-electronic components.

“We are committed to supporting the education of future generations of engineers by making it easier to introduce children to the world of electronics,” said Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and Single Board Computers at Farnell and element14. “Series such as The Learning Circuit enable users to better understand electronics with easy access to expertise and educational resources in the form of the videos. element14, as the manufacturer and distributor of the BBC micro:bit, and global electronics distributor, is uniquely able to support these programs.”

“Our mission to help children and teachers to take their first steps with technology and broaden participation with digital creativity continues to grow with multiple large scale programs in over 30 countries,” added Gareth Stockdale CEO, micro:bit Educational Foundation. We continue to work with element14 to ensure that the BBC micro:bit is available all around the world and that children are able to expand their computational thinking and create their best digital future.”

BBC micro:bit products, accessories and a variety of free-to-download educational resources and lesson plans are available online from Newark in North America, Farnell in EMEA and element14 in APAC.