Bringing BBC micro:bit to millions of students across the globe via Farnell STEM programmes

19 September 2019

BBC micro:bit-STEM-children

Latest Farnell programme to support STEM learning provides BBC micro:bit classroom technology to 2,400 secondary schools across Norway.

Farnell, exclusive manufacturer & distributor of the BBC micro:bit, is working with governments, re-sellers and strategic partnerships to support product-led STEM educational initiatives globally. Programmes supported by Farnell aim to create fun and interactive learning environments for students to develop an understanding of electronics at a young age, and build a pathway into a range of engineering and technology-driven careers.

The micro:bit has experienced significant success since its launch through a programme led by the BBC in the UK in 2016. Since this date, Farnell has shipped over 2.5 million micro:bit boards globally, supporting programmes 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 programmes. 

The latest programme to be supported by Farnell is being rolled out in Norway. Entitled “super:bit”, this project is a collaboration between the national science centres 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, include micro:bits, robots, and other electronic and non-electronic components.

Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors & Single Board Computers at Farnell says: “We are committed to educating and inspiring future generations of engineers by making it easier to introduce children to the world of electronics in schools and code clubs. Programmes such as ‘super:bit’ in Norway  enable teachers to teach basic electronics and computational thinking with easy access to products and educational resources. Farnell, as the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of the micro:bit, and a global electronics distributor, is uniquely able to support programmes such as this.

Gareth Stockdale CEO, Micro:bit Educational Foundation added: “Our mission to help children and teachers to take their first steps with technology and broaden participation with digital creativity continues to grow with large scale programmes in over 30 countries. We continue to work with Farnell to ensure that the BBC micro:bit is available all around the world and that these large projects are facilitated.

To further support the rollout of micro:bit as a tool for STEM education in schools, Farnell is the sponsor for the very first annual gathering of the global micro:bit community of educators and partners on 4th and 5th October in Manchester. micro:bit Live 2019 aims to develop the micro:bit Educational Foundation's mission to inspire every child to create their best digital future and is an opportunity for all those involved in educational initiatives and partnerships, from government level to resellers and electronics engineers to share their experiences, tips and best practices to help achieve this mission.

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


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