MicroPython Workshop with the BBC micro:bit

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I had a lot of fun giving an MicroPython workshop with the BBC micro:bit just a few days before the Xmas holidays 2019 and just quickly wanted to share the material with you.

The workshop was planned for just 1.5 hours, I was really afraid we would not get further than plugging in the USB cables… but the kids were absolutely amazing.

My secret sauce for this workshop were buzzers 🙂 Yes, plain & simple buzzers that cost a few cents if you buy them in bulk. I soldered some alligator clips to them the day before and made sure they all work. The kids loved to make some noise and as we had covered some simple loops and if/else statements before, I think we learnt quite a lot and the buzzers pulled a lot of the kids.

I based my own preparation and materials closely on the MicroPython documentation for the BBC micro:bit here, which in many ways is better than my material – you should have a look at this excellent tutorial if you’re prepping your own workshop! I’ve condensed the material here and there, left our many details that I found not relevant for such a short 1.5h workshop and change a few of the examples.

This was my first non-visual coding workshop that I’ve given. The kids discovered very quickly that indentation, spelling and UPPER/lowercase is important when it comes to text-based coding, but it was not really shocking to them. I had some doubts the days before if they’d like this challenge but to my surprise, they really all did!

You can download and print my material here – CC BY 3.0 licensed. The reason for having one “lesson” per page is that it allows the kids to grab a new page after they are done with the task before. Each lesson also comes with a small challenge, a task, which kept some of the faster kids busy while others caught up. We’ve not followed this plan 100% but it was a great resource during the workshop and should hopefully also help you streamline a workshop.

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