The BBC Microbit at #HackTheLibrary

The BBC Microbit at #HackTheLibrary

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Mike & the Digital Drop-in

We had another busy session at this weekends #HackTheLibrary at Oldham Library, with a wide range of activities and people of all backgrounds getting involved.

We kicked off the day with the digital drop in, a weekly session held at the library where people can get help and support with all kinds of technology, with topics ranging from help operating a mobile phone, to selling on eBay, or understanding Youtube.

BBC MIcrobit

BBC MIcrobit

As the day progressed and more of our regulars started to turn up we started to experiment with the BBC Microbit,  a pocket sized computer with an array of sensors which is to be given to every child in year 7 across the UK.As a STEM Ambassador I was lucky enough to be able to borrow some from The Museum of Science and industry, which allowed us meant we we able to bring them to the library and as well as see what we thought, we could find out what the general public thought too.

#HackTheLibrary

#HackTheLibrary

The techies amongst us were impressed with the number of programming environments supported by the Microbit, from text based languages like Python to the Microsoft Block Editor, which is very similar to the Scratch environment we use at Code Clubs.

This wide array of languages means that there is a good chance that the BBC Microbit will appeal to a wide ranges of ages, not just the year 7’s that it is targeted at, in fact a couple of our members are already try to acquire one of our own.

The children were equally impressed, they were able to get programs up and running in minutes, on both the online emulator and the device itself, we saw applications ranging from a simple scrolling message to virtual die triggered by shaking the device.

Tony one our our members wrote a game in the Python programming language using the tilt sensors of the device  similar to one of the old, get the ball in the hole games, you can see the result on his youtube channel here.

If you want to get involved you can find us in the space on a Monday Evening from 6, or the next #HackTheLIbrary will be on April 23rd.

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