1 Million UK Students Will Get Free Programming-Friendly Computers

Micro:bit /



Preteens in the UK who have computer science aspirations will soon have a new tool at their disposal. As part of a program led by the BBC, a million 11- and 12-year-olds in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland will receive free Micro:bit computers to tinker with, Ars Technica reports.

The small devices are designed with computer education in mind, and come with a short guide to basic programming that will get kids working with the computer’s LEDs, sensors, Bluetooth, and more. The BBC partnered with Microsoft, Samsung, and other companies and research institutions to create apps and provide essentials like programming languages, accelerometers, and Bluetooth chips.

The Micro:bit website has tutorials to help kids learn to use their kit to make a scoreboard, a interactive mood visualizer, and more, ensuring that students aren’t totally stumped when presented with this computer chip.

While not every kid will emerge from school a computer science wiz, programming teaches logic and problem-solving. Even if students don’t fall in love with making high-tech gadgets, they’ll at least come away with a basic understanding of how machines work—an increasingly lucrative job skill.

If you’re part of a UK school, sign up for the program here.

[h/t Ars Technica]