Introducing the BBC micro:bit

What is BBC micro:bit?

The BBC micro:bit is a handheld, programmable micro-computer – also known as a micro-controller. This is a computer that’s been shrunk down to a single chip. A self-contained system with a processor, memory and peripherals. Much less powerful than a laptop or tablet, and generally can do only one thing at a time.

It comes with a built-in 5×5 display of 25 LEDs, Bluetooth and sensors. It can be coded from any web browser in Blocks, JavaScript, Python, Scratch and more; no software required. It provides an engaging programming environment, with the ability to connect to and interact with sensors, displays, and other devices.


Why use micro-computers?

  • Very small
  • Use very little power
  • Good at talking to other electronics

They are everywhere. Examples include:

  • Digital watch
  • Mouse
  • Microwave oven
  • Telephones
  • Cars


Have a look

bbc microbit 2

LEDs (5×5) and Buttons (x2)

Printed Circuit Board (aka PCB or Board)

  • Processor
  • Compass
  • Accelerometer (for up and down, or board movement)
  • Battery Socket
  • Reset button (to re-start program that’s running)
  • USB connector (to connect to other devices)


An LED, or light-emitting diode, is an output device that gives off light. Your BBC micro:bit has a display of 25 LEDs for you to program.

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



Micro USB Cable

micro USB cable


Battery pack



Let’s get started

Attached USB cable to the top of micro:bit and plug in laptop USB port. The LED lights will flash and scroll the word ‘Hello’.

Press buttons as indicated by ‘A’ and ‘B’.

Shake: Fill the screen with dots.

The  accelerometer can detect some of the forces that are acting on it. In this case, if you are shaking it (it can also detecting if it’s upside down) . You can write a program for micro:bit that will tell you how high you threw your it into the air!

Chase the Dot: Move the steady dot by tilting your BBC micro:bit. Catch the flashing dot. Now do it again a few times and you’re done.



Eject BBC micro:bit





Open app

Click short cut on taskbar.


(Alternatively, access the program through a browser at


Select ‘New Project’

Screenshot (227)


Screenshot (226)



LED Heart


on start


Screenshot (230)


on start show icon


Screenshot (233)


on start show icon X










Download program to BBC micro:bit

Change back to Heart icon.

Connect micro:bit to laptop with micro USB cable.




Heart icon will appear on the micro:bit’s LED lights.

heart LEDS


Try other icons



Beating heart


Smile and sad face



write name / message