Coding Ireland STEM Report 2024 Have Your Say
35 mins
175 points
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Microbit Tutorial

Learn about the Microbit computer and how you can program it!

Learning Goals Learning Outcomes Teacher Notes

1 - What is a Microbit?

The Microbit is a tiny programmable computer, designed especially for learning and teaching coding.

It has a processor inside it (like the brain of the computer) and has the following:

  1. an accelerometer (for sensing movement).
  2. a compass (for sensing direction).
  3. a microphone.
  4. a speaker.
  5. Bluetooth and USB port for connectivity.
  6. a display consisting of 25 LEDs lights.
  7. two programmable buttons.
  8. and can be powered by either USB or an external battery pack.

Watch this short video to see how we can create code and program it.

2 - Exploring the Capabilities of a Microbit

Your Microbit is a versatile mini-computer that you can program to perform a wide array of tasks. It's equipped with buttons, LEDs, and various sensors that you can manipulate to create engaging projects. For instance, you can program your Microbit to function as a pedometer, a compass, or even a musical instrument. The possibilities are nearly limitless, and it's all up to your creativity and programming skills.

3 - How do you program it?

In a similar way to Scratch, you can create programs using a special website but you then need to download the program to your computer and then send the program to the Microbit.

  1. Create your program using
  2. Download the program to your computer
  3. Send the program to your Microbit by USB cable

4 - The website

The website is a website provided by Microsoft that lets you create code for different devices such as the Microbit.

5 - The project editor

When you create a new project you will be brought to the project editor, which is what we use to create our Microbit programs. The editor has 3 main areas:

  1. Microbit Simulator - this is on the left hand side of the screen and simulates how our program will run on a Microbit when we click the run button.
  2. Block Palette - this is in the middle of the screen and has code fragments (called "blocks") that can be dragged onto the scripts area. To keep the palette from being too big, it is organized into groups of blocks: Basic, Input, Music, Led, Radio, Loops, Logic, Variables, Math and Advanced.
  3. Scripts Area - this is on the right hand side of the screen and is where we drag the blocks to create our code and programs.

The blocks 'on start' and 'forever' will appear in the Scripts Area by default for new projects.

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