Meet the micro:bit!

The BBC micro:bit is an award-winning programmable device that allows students to get hands-on with coding and digital making. Use it to inspire your students to recognize the power of technology in the real world.


What is the BBC micro:bit?

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized programmable device designed to inspire young minds to explore the world of coding and digital creativity.

Developed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in partnership with several other organizations, the micro:bit aims to make coding accessible and fun for everyone.

kids holding BBC micro:bits


Technology designed for everyone

The micro:bit is used by millions of young people worldwide to get hands-on with computer science and technology.

39 million

students reached with micro:bit*


countries learning with micro:bit


micro:bit Features

The BBC micro:bit has a wide range of features for you to explore. Find out more about each of the numbered features below.

micro:bit v2 features front

Features on the front

The micro:bit has two buttons on the front that can be used separately or together to make things happen.

25 LEDs arranged in a 5×5 grid make up the display for showing pictures, words and numbers. They can also act as sensors, measuring how much light is falling on your micro:bit.

The GPIO pins allow you to connect headphones, sense touch and add other electronics to expand the possibilities of your micro:bit. The new micro:bit has indentations to grip crocodile clips more securely.

You can power external LEDs and other electronics using the 3 volt power pin.

The GND pin is the ground or Earth pin – it’s used to complete electrical circuits when you connect headphones, LEDs or external switches to your micro:bit.

The new micro:bit has an extra input. The gold logo also works as a touch sensor. You can use it as an extra button in your programs, in addition to the A and B buttons.

You can create programs that react to loud and quiet sounds and measure noise levels with the new micro:bit’s built-in microphone. The microphone LED shows you when the microphone is actively measuring sound levels. Just to the left of the LED, you’ll see a small hole where the sound goes in.

micro:bit v2 features back

Features on the back

Your micro:bit can communicate with other micro:bits by radio, and with other devices using Bluetooth.

The micro:bit’s processor is its brain, fetching, decoding and carrying out your instructions. It also contains a temperature sensor so you can measure how warm or cold your environment is.

Find magnetic North or measure the strength of magnetic fields using the micro:bit’s compass. It can measure magnetic fields in three dimensions, so you can use this for science experiments or for making simple door or window alarms.

The micro:bit’s accelerometer measures forces in 3 dimensions, including gravity, so your projects can tell which way up your micro:bit is. You can use it for science experiments, add shake inputs to games or make simple alarms that alert you when someone moves your things.

Connect your micro:bit to make headphones, simple switches and electronics, sense touch and more. The pins can power simple accessories like colourful lights, motors and robots.

Download programs to your micro:bit from a computer and power it using its USB interface.

The single LED on the back of the original micro:bit flashes when you are downloading a program to it, and lights to show it’s being powered from the USB socket.

Restart your micro:bit programs with the reset button.

Instead of powering your micro:bit from the USB socket, you can unplug it from your computer and use a battery pack instead. This is really useful if you want to take your micro:bit outside, wear it or play games with it. It can run for a long time using just two AAA batteries.

The interface chip is used for flashing new code to the micro:bit, sending and receiving serial data to and from your computer by USB.

The new micro:bit with sound has a built-in speaker so you even more easily add music and new sounds to your projects.

The new micro:bit’s microphone and indicator LED are fixed to the back of the board. The LED lights up when it’s monitoring sound levels and is visible as a microphone icon on the front of the board. The front also has a small hole to allow sound to enter the microphone.

The red LED on the back of the new micro:bit shows when your micro:bit has power, either from batteries or a USB cable.

On the new micro:bit a yellow LED light flashes when your computer is communicating with the micro:bit over USB, for example when you flash a program file.

Pressing this on the new micro:bit will reset the micro:bit and run your program again from the start. If you hold it down, the red power LED will fade. When the power LED goes dark, release the button and your micro:bit is in power-saving sleep mode. Use this to make your batteries last longer. Press the button again to wake up your micro:bit.


Easily Expandable

One of the many great things about the micro:bit is it’s ability to expand into all sorts of other coding projects. The micro:bit is compatible with many other robotic accessories that provide a low floor, high ceiling, and wide walls learning experience for students and teachers alike. 

Forward Education’s Climate Action Kit is a great way to expand on learning and build on the capabilities of the micro:bit with a range of robotic accessories. 


FREE micro:bit Lesson

Register on the Forward Education Learning Platform to access our FREE micro:bit lesson! 

Discover how you can incorporate STEM, computer science and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into the classrooms in a purpose-driven way!


Get Started with the BBC micro:bit

Ready to embark on your coding journey? Forward Education is ready to be your dedicated partner for getting started with micro:bit in your classroom, school, or district.

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