Driving the micro:bit legacy
The micro:bit initiative is a groundbreaking partnership in the STEM area between international corporations, including Freescale. We provide a Kinetis KL26 MCU and two motion sensors – a 3-axis accelerometer, and a 3-axis magnetometer on a development board. The program aims to make a huge impact in 2015 with the BBC and its partners committed providing up to 1 million micro:bits, given freely to every child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK.
The relevance of the project, and the excitement around it since it has been launched has been so high, that partners have soon been asked:
Is this just a 2015 initiative? Will others be able to buy a micro:bit?
The partnership announced on July 7 plans to collectively develop a not-for-profit company to oversee and drive the micro:bit legacy. Not only siblings and children in other year groups in UK, but also children and technology passionates in other countries may also want to own their own micro:bit. The partners will be giving them the chance to join in the coding revolution.
Starting this Fall, micro:bits will be available for retail pre-order in the UK, and internationally through the program partners. These devices will be distributed toward end of this year, as soon as the last free micro:bits arrive in the hands of year 7 or equivalent children. The revenue generated will enable the creation, and ongoing support, of a longer term charitable legacy for the micro:bit partnership.
Exact pricing and availability will be confirmed soon.
One of the core aims of the micro:bit project was to help stimulate the market for low entry coding devices. The device will be open source, allowing others to create, manufacture and vary the capability of their own devices without restriction. This will also help stimulate the micro:bit ecosystem, giving partners and other companies the chance to create accessories and new tools for the micro:bit.
We live in a technology driven world, where nearly every aspect of our lives can be made safer and more productive through modern electronics. To ensure we don’t have a shortage of engineering talent and expertise, we must encourage more students to study STEM fields that will drive tomorrow’s economy. To answer these challenges, Freescale has established the Freescale Foundation in 2013, to support initiatives that helps instill students, at the earliest age possible, with the belief that they can be a catalyst for innovation.
We believe, with our micro:bit project’s partners, that this newly announced initiative, carrying the micro:bit legacy forward, will help stimulate children interest in STEM internationally and develop the next generation of innovators.
Contributed by Freescale Staff
More on the micro:bit initiative here: Micro:bit Unveiled | Embedded Beat for Design Engineers