BBC micro:bit opens trading at London Stock Exchange

This morning, to celebrate the delivery of one million BBC micro:bits to every year 7 student in England and Wales, year 8 student in Northern Ireland and S1 student in Scotland, Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC and used a super-sized version of the newly launched codeable computer to open the London Stock Exchange.

The launch marks a landmark moment for the BBC and the 31 partners involved in creating the BBC micro:bit in what’s the most ambitious BBC education project in 30 years, and recalls the pioneering role of the BBC Micro, which helped introduce the nation to computing in the 1980s.

“This is a very special moment for us, our partners and most importantly for young people across the country,” said Tony Hall, BBC Director-General at the launch. “The BBC micro:bit has the potential to be a seminal piece of British innovation, helping this generation to be the coders, programmers and digital pioneers of the future.  Only the BBC could attempt a project this ambitious, on such a large scale, and I’m thrilled we’ve persuaded so many people to get behind this and make it happen.”

The BBC micro:bit allows young people to get creative with technology, whatever their level of experience. Students can programme their BBC micro:bit to become anything they want – from simple games to smart watches and even fitness trackers – all by using one of the code editors at www.microbit.co.uk, or the Android mobile app, and by connecting it to other devices and sensors. The website also features a range of resources and tutorials to help teachers, parents and students take advantage of the BBC micro:bit’s vast potential.

It has been made possible only through a ground-breaking partnership between the BBC and 31 organisations including ARM, Barclays, element14, Lancaster University, Microsoft, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, Samsung, Technology Will Save Us and the Wellcome Trust.

BBC micro:bits will be delivered nationwide through schools, and made available to home-schooled students, over the next few weeks but they will be the students devices to own. Following the nationwide rollout, the BBC micro:bit hardware and much of the software will be open-sourced, and BBC micro:bits will be available to buy from a range of retailers.