Coding with micro:bits

The Columbia STEM Alliance created an initiative in 2017 to introduce students to computer science, allowing them to progress to more advanced robotics programming and construction using the BBC “micro:bit” to gain experience. The CSA and Columbia Public Schools (CPS) created and introduced hands-on computer science coding to 2,523 students in grades 4-8 in its first year. Approximately 1,600 students looking for more intensive levels of computer science and were provided with a free micro:bit device – and the response was amazing! More than 1,000 girls and 800 low-income students participated in this program across the school district. At Lange Middle School, 91.6% of the students who received a micro:bit continued on to advanced coding classes.

This year, The Columbia STEM Alliance again plans to team-up with CPS to develop a more formalized program for middle school computer science. The CSA plans to provide support to local teachers by recruiting and training pre-service teachers to work directly with these students.