On Tuesday 7th July 2015 the micro:bit was launched for the world to see.
It is impossible to express the excitement and ‘electric’ atmosphere of the partners working together to prepare and deliver the launch of the micro:bit. The commitment and the spirit of the project brings with it a community that is stimulating a creative space to spark the imagination of discovery in the young and the old and everyone in between.
Details of the launch are available at the BBC website that provides a glimpse of the project’s potential. We had an amazing time both at the pre-launch (time to discuss with others the ideas and some of those challenging demo-getting-ready doesn’t want to work things) and at the launch. We captured some the moments on our padlet wall to share with you.
For us one of the demos we really enjoyed was the ‘perfect pancake’ created by David Whale.
Our demo table was between CISCO’s Internet of Things that was equally fabulous to see and NORDIC’s small, beautiful and sustainable products. Incorporating the ‘cup of tea’ into the network to control the TV through the micro:bit gives you an idea of some of the creative thought. The applications are limitless! And the smallest solar powered battery I have ever seen opens up a whole new world.
It was great to see Chris Follows from UAL at the event as the maker community in the world of art and design brings that multidisciplinary context that can only enrich and add to the project’s potential.
The project was asked some tough questions e.g. how might we encourage girls to engage with this technology. Creative Digital Solutions don’t have all the answers but encouraging girls to engage with STEM is something we feel is very important. For our part in the project we have been working on some ideas for developing widening participation opportunities and engagements with communities through our outreach work. As some of you already know we are active in the women in engineering local community: See making a difference. We strongly believe that engagement with communities requires authentic learning experiences set in the context of collaborative exchange and sharing of knowledge.
We see this project as a catalyst for diverse communities to engage and take ownership of computer science, humanities and engineering and to learn first hand the connections. The impact of such collaborations between schools, industry and research has the potential to develop creative multidisciplinary entrepreneurs.