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 The College's Year 7 students have each been given a BBC micro:bit, a pocket-sized codeable computer, in a special assembly to launch the micro:bit club.

 The tiny computers, with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology, have been given free by the BBC to every child in Year 7 or equivalent across the UK.

It measures 4cm by 5cm and is designed to be fun and easy to use. It can be coded with something simple in seconds – like lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern – with no prior knowledge of computing.

It's part of a BBC collaboration between 29 partners, with an ambition to inspire digital creativity and develop a new generation of tech pioneers.

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The College is launching its own micro:bit club to make sure each student gets the most out of being handed the mini computers.

 "The micro:bit looks like great fun," said IT teacher Mr Greenhough. 

"It’s got a built-in motion detector (accelerometer), compass and Bluetooth and you can even attach different sensors to it - and all this fits in the palm of your hand!

"You can program it to do whatever you want and there are loads of tutorials and example programs on the microbit website to help you.

"You can also come along to micro:bit club every Wednesday lunchtime."

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The UK currently faces a critical skills shortage in the technology sector and the BBC and partners aim to help change that.

In the 1980s, the BBC Micro introduced many children to computing for the first time and the BBC micro:bit, part of the BBC’s 2015 Make it Digital initiative, will build on the legacy of that project for the digital age.

It aims to inspire young people to get creative with digital and develop core skills in science, technology and engineering.

"We happily give children paint brushes when they’re young, with no experience - it should be exactly the same with technology," said Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning.

"The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own.

"It’s our most ambitious education initiative for 30 years.

"And as the micro:bit is able to connect to everything from mobile phones to plant pots and Raspberry Pis, this could be for the internet-of-things what the BBC Micro was to the British gaming industry."



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