Programming skills are likely to be among the most in-demand skills on the job market for long into the future. But as well as offering rewarding career paths, learning to code can be a whole lot of fun!
There are an ever-increasing number of tools and resources out there to help young people get into technology, including the micro:bit minicomputer. All they need to do to start creating is connect it to a computer and add simple lines of code, which is made quick and easy to pick up.
Below we explore the kinds of projects kids can create with the micro:bit, and highlight why it’s worth encouraging their interest.
What can kids create with the mirco:bit?
With little to no coding or computer science experience, kids can build a wide range of fun creations with this nifty, low-cost device.
Take a traffic light project for example. Kids can program the mico:bit to control flashing LEDs in a sequence, simulating the traffic controllers they’re likely to see on the way to school every day.
Or how about a wearable name badge? With some light needlework and battery power, the mirco:bit can be transformed into an accessory that displays the user’s name.
Other potential projects include step counters that measure daily exercise activity, and weather stations that record data on temperature, humidity and more. There are lots of accessories available to expand the possibilities further, including sensors and game controllers.
Benefits of coding for kids
We’ve already touched on how coders are in high demand. It’s a trend echoed by Richard Curtain, co-founder at micro:bit retailer OKdo.
“We believe that computer science is an important element of STEM education in the 21st century, and that giving more children across the world the opportunity to learn digital skills, and understand the design engineering process, will be highly advantageous to all society in the future.”
There are many other benefits beyond economic advantages, however. Practicing code can foster children’s creativity by encouraging them to try out ideas and embrace technology to create new projects.
Coding also enhances problem solving and persistence, as learning to debug projects is a key part of the process. By showing kids that it’s okay to fail and try again, they should be more inclined to put themselves out there in later life.
Working with devices such as the micro:bit in groups can also promote collaboration and help children develop their communication skills. Crucially, that includes understanding how to communicate efficiently with computers and other connected devices.
We’re entering an era that is increasingly dominated by technology and digitalisation. By using tools such as the micro:bit at an early age, the workers of tomorrow will be well equipped to succeed.