You can use your BBC micro:bit for all sorts of cool creations, from robots to musical instruments – the possibilities are endless.
We have over 200 different activities and resources to try, from easy experiments to creative coding challenges.
How do I use micro:bit in school?
Micro:bit is widely used in schools around the world, from Finland and Iceland to Singapore and Sri Lanka. We have dozens of fantastic activities and lesson plans geared towards primary and secondary school teachers.
Step 1: Connect It
Connect the micro:bit to your computer via a micro USB cable. Macs, PCs, Chromebooks and Linux systems (including Raspberry Pi) are all supported. It comes with a fun application, give it a try!
Your micro:bit will show up on your computer as a drive called ‘MICROBIT’. Watch out though, it’s not a normal USB disk!
Step 2: Program It
Step 3: Download It
Click the Download button in the editor. This will download a ‘hex’ file, which is a compact format of your program that your micro:bit can read. Once the hex file has downloaded, copy it to your micro:bit just like copying a file to a USB drive. On Windows you can right click and choose “Send To→MICROBIT.”
Windows “Send To”
Mac Drag and Drop
Step 4: Play It
The micro:bit will pause and the yellow LED on the back of the micro:bit will blink while your code is programmed. Once that’s finished the code will run automatically!The MICROBIT drive will automatically eject and come back each time you program it, but your hex file will be gone. The micro:bit can only receive hex files and won’t store anything else!
What cool stuff will you create? Your micro:bit can respond to the buttons, light, motion, and temperature. It can even send messages wirelessly to other micro:bits using the ‘Radio’ feature.
Check out the hardware page for more inspiration.
Step 5: Master it
From dancing robots to banana keyboards, your micro:bit has all the features you need to code awesome stuff – the possibilities are endless!
Your micro:bit has the following physical features:
- 25 individually-programmable LEDs
- 2 programmable buttons
- Physical connection pins
- Light and temperature sensors
- Motion sensors (accelerometer and compass)
- Wireless Communication, via Radio and Bluetooth
- USB interface
Let’s take a look at what these components do and discover how to code them!
What is it? LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. The micro:bit has 25 individually-programmable LEDs, allowing you to display text, numbers, and images.
How do I code it? Learn more about coding the LEDs, or use the code references below.
What is it? There are two buttons on the front of the micro:bit (labelled A and B). You can detect when these buttons are pressed, allowing you to trigger code on the device.
How do I code it? See the code references below.
What is it? There are 25 external connectors on the edge connector of the micro:bit, which we refer to as ‘pins’. Program motors, LEDs, or other electrical components with the pins, or connect extra sensors to control your code!
How do I code it? Learn more about the hardware of the pins, or use the code references below.
What is it? By reversing the LEDs of the screen to become an input, the LED screen works as a basic light sensor, allowing you to detect ambient light.
What is it? An accelerometer measures the acceleration of your micro:bit; this component senses when the micro:bit is moved. It can also detect other actions, e.g. shake, tilt, and free-fall.
How do I code it? See the code references below.
What is it? The compass detects the earth’s magnetic field, allowing you to detect which direction the micro:bit is facing. The compass has to be calibrated before it can be used.
When the calibration begins, the micro:bit will scroll an instruction on the display for you – either “Draw a circle” or “Tilt to fill screen”. To calibrate the compass, just follow these instructions and tilt the micro:bit to move the dot in the centre of the screen around until you have either drawn the outline of a circle, or filled up the whole screen.
How do I code it? Use the code references below.
What is it? The radio feature allows you to communicate wirelessly between micro:bits. Use the radio to send messages to other micro:bits, build multiplayer games, and much more!
How do I code it? Discover how to code the radio:
What is it? A BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) antenna allows the micro:bit to send and receive Bluetooth signals. This allows the micro:bit to wirelessly communicate with PCs, Phones, and Tablets, so you can control your phone from your micro:bit and send code wirelessly to your device from your phone!
Before using the Bluetooth Antenna you will need to pair your micro:bit with another device. Once paired, you can send programs wirelessly to your micro:bit.
The Python Editor doesn’t currently support bluetooth.
What can I do with it? Send code to your micro:bit wirelessly.
What is it? The USB interface allows you to connect the micro:bit to your computer via a micro-USB cable, which will power the device and allow you to download programs onto the micro:bit.