Nearly 700,000 micro:bits to be given out to schools

Image shows the launch of The Next Gen project with Youtuber DanTDM at Ivy Chimneys Primary School in Epping

Tens of thousands of micro:bit classroom sets are to be distributed to schools for free, as well as brand-new teaching resources to accelerate computational thinking, programming, digital creativity and machine learning knowledge among primary school pupils.
Popular YouTuber DanTDM, Blue Peter presenter Abby Cook, BBC and S4C presenter Alexandra Humphreys and CBeebies presenter Gyasi Sheppy delivered the micro:bits to primary schools across the UK.
The project aims to inspire all youngsters to be excited by technology and see it as a means to unleash their creativity and have fun. Last year, computing A-Level continued to have the highest gender gulf of entrants while the UK tech industry is comprised of just 26% of women. By engaging children in earlier, more formative years, the next gen project seeks to counter harmful stereotypes before they have time to bed in and broaden participation in a rewarding and increasingly vital aspect of our modern daily lives.
To boost the project, the micro:bit will be prominently featured in a week-long takeover across CBBC, on favourite shows such as Blue Peter and Saturday Mash Up. The BBC micro:bit - the next gen campaign will continue to integrate education and entertainment, with more features of the micro:bit planned in CBBC programming across the academic year with accompanying teaching resources.
BBC Education and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation are also partnering on resources inspired by CBBC’s iconic brands Dumping Ground and Football Academy. Within this collaboration, a new Make it: code it kick strength tracker will be available, and will enable primary school children to become sports scientists, with a brand-new micro:bit project that allows you to monitor performance.
Elsewhere, there will be a curated area on the BBC Teach website called Code Your Own Way that encourages children to code with a virtual micro:bit. This will include inspirational content with the micro:bit that encourages children to start their own programming projects, from making music, magic eight ball or creating an electronic pets.
The Micro:bit Educational Foundation and training partners in each of the nations will be delivering virtual teacher training to support teachers in the delivery of digital and computing education. Resources to support teachers starting out with micro:bit will also launch. First lessons with MakeCode and micro:bit will provide a pathway of lesson plans and professional development for teachers to begin their micro:bit journey.
The project has been generously supported by Nominet, whose funding has enabled 675,000 BBC micro:bits to be provided for free to UK primary schools. Research carried out by Nominet and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation showed that primary teachers need more support in teaching digital skills and computing. The research led to the formation of this project, which aims to empower young people to be ready for the digital challenges of the future. Primary schools will need to register to claim their free micro:bits, and registration is open until the end of the year.
This has also been enabled by the support of a wide range of industry and education partners including Arm, CCEA, Education Scotland, Farnell, Lancaster University, Microsoft, National Centre for Computing Education, Okdo, STMicroelectronics, Technocamps and Twinkl.

Primary schools will need to register to claim their free micro:bits, and registration is open until the end of the year (18 December 2023). For more information and to register, go to