What is a micro:bit?

A BBC micro:bit is a small handheld computer which can be programmed to do all sort of cool things, from making robots move to creating your own musical instruments – the possibilities are endless.

The device has loads of exciting features such as 25 red LED lights that can flash messages and two programmable buttons that can be used to control games. The micro:bit also has motion sensors to tell you which direction you’re heading in! You’ll find lots of exciting projects at https://www.microbit.org/mobile

How can I get my hands on a Micro:bit Kit?

You can borrow a Micro:bit Kit from Acomb Explore, Clifton Explore, Haxby Explore and Tang Hall Explore. In the box you will find:

  • 1 x micro:bit
  • 1 x micro USB lead
  • 1 x safety and quick start guide
  • 1 x battery pack accessory
  • 2 x AAA batteries

You can borrow the Micro:bit Kit for free for up to three weeks. Just call into one of the Explore centres mentioned above and collect a Kit using your library card. Please check that all items are in the box before returning the Kit.

Getting started

Read the micro:bit safety and quick start guide included in the box.

You can also download the safety and quick start guide (PDF)

Using the micro:bit with a laptop or pc

Connect the micro:bit to your pc or laptop using the USB cable (it should appear as a removable drive). Once you have done this, head over to the micro:bit website to get coding – www.microbit.org

There are a number of different editors you can use on the site, such as ‘JavaScript Blocks Editor’ and ‘Python’ (for the more advanced).

Micro:bit’s new JavaScript editor makes it easy to program your micro:bit in Blocks and JavaScript Anyone can have a go at writing code, and see how it would play back on the micro:bit by using the online simulator.

Once you have created some code online, click download and then drag the downloaded .hex file to the micro:bit.

The micro:bit will now run your code! Each time you send a .hex file to the micro:bit, your previous file is deleted.

When the micro:bit is connected to your computer with the micro USB, it doesn’t need another power source. When your micro:bit isn’t connected to your computer, you will need 2 x AAA 1.5 V batteries to power it (as found in the box!)

Using the micro:bit with a tablet or smart phone

You can download a micro:bit mobile app that lets you send your code to your micro:bit over Bluetooth (without using a USB cable) and more. Your device will need to have Bluetooth, and this needs to be switched on to pair with the micro:bit. If you have trouble pairing, try visiting this help page: www.microbit.org/mobile

Download the App For Apple

Download the App For Android