Get Kids Coding! Croatia to receive 45,000 BBC micro:bit

18 December 2017

Credit: BBC micro:bit
Credit: BBC micro:bit

Farnell element14 has signed an agreement with the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) for delivery of 45,000 BBC micro:bits in an official national roll-out.

As part of the national rollout, all students in Grade 6 will receive a BBC micro:bit to help them develop their skills in the world of coding and programming. Iceland and Singapore are already fans of the BBC micro:bit with both their governments rolling out the device to one age group of schools through a national education programme.

The Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity (Croatian acronym IRIM), a privately-funded Croatian nonprofit organisation, has already deployed more than 20,000 BBC micro:bit in over 1,000 elementary and secondary schools, universities and libraries through the largest crowdfunding campaign in Croatia to date. In this deployment, IRIM successfully educated 2,000 teachers, most of whom had never before (or rarely) coded.

The pocket-sized programmable device helps children learn how to code and develop their electronic and technological skills.

Following the success of its launch in the UK and rollout to one million year seven children – as part of the BBC’s Make It Digital campaign – the BBC micro:bit is now available to buy across the globe.

Credit: BBC micro:bit
Credit: BBC micro:bit

Ralf Buehler, senior vice president for Sales and Marketing for Premier Farnell, says: “Countries across the globe continue to face a skills shortage in coding, digital technology and engineering. We are seeing an increase in interest in developing educational programmes that provide children with access to coding skills through hands-on learning to help tackle these challenges for the future.”

Nenad Bakic, the president of IRIM stated: “We have developed an extensive family of STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] projects in Croatian schools and neighbouring countries. We were looking for a technology which could totally democratise teaching of coding, and we are very happy to discover the BBC micro:bit.”

Since the UK launch, research undertaken by the BBC found that 39% of girls said that they would now definitely choose ICT/computing subjects compared to 23% who were surveyed before. 86% said it made computer science more interesting and 88% said it showed that coding isn’t as hard as they thought.

The new contract between Farnell element14 and the CARNet will replicate the success of the UK launch of the BBC micro:bit and will help support the development of the next generation of engineers, via coding from a young age. 

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