Code Control

micro:bit Code Control

Ages: 5-7**Please note parental assistance may be required.

Prerequisite: Scratch Jr Level 1-3

Equipment cost and shipping is included in class price.

Course Overview:

Let’s combine the power of the physical world with our digital world imaginations in this “hands-on” introduction to coding!

Using a micro:bit circuit board, kids learn to CREATE and code with technology. We introduce simple controller mechanics so kids can apply it coding games - making them feel more realistic and interactive.

Students don’t just play a game – they build it and control it in their hands!

Key Skills students will build in class:
1. Linking and using controller hardware in video games
2. Recreating common gaming concepts using single input controls
3. Introduction to variables, logic (if/then), and functions

*These are recommended age ranges. We can adjust based on your child’s needs and abilities.

Understanding the Difference between Micro:bit and Arduino

Micro:bit vs. Arduino

Micro:bit and Arduino are engaging and fun when it comes to learning to code for kids. The microcontrollers are the ideal choice for kids who love exciting games, gadgets, and experiments. Let’s get a clear idea of Micro:bit and Arduino and which one is helpful for your kids.

What is Micro:bit?

The BBC developed Micro:bit in 2016. It is a pocket-sized computer that teaches kids how software and hardware work together. It is helpful for kids to learn to code through web and mobile apps. The tiny computer offers various input and output features, including LED displays, sensors, buttons that allow kids to enjoy unlimited games and activities while learning.

Languages and Platforms that Micro:bit Offers

Micro:bit website has two web-based editors and mobile apps for Android and iOS that are useful for kids to program.

Microsoft MakeCode

Developers use Microsoft MakeCode to write block-based code for the Micro:bit. It is one of the best and most accessible platforms for new coders to write their Micro:bit program by dragging and dropping color-coded blocks. Block-based coding is simple yet effective enough to use all Micro:bit’s capabilities and features efficiently. Additionally, MakeCode also has a window into text-based coding that allows switching the code editor into JavaScript view.


Another alternative to program Micro:bit is Python. Interestingly, Python’s syntax is easy and similar to simple English compared to other text-based languages. It is also one of the world’s most popular coding languages. This way, it becomes easy for kids, even 8 years old, to learn the language.

Mobile Applications

Kids can also write programs using a cheap mobile device and send them to their Micro:bit.

What Micro:bit Allows you to Do?

As discussed above, Micro:bit has many input and output sensors, including a speaker, accelerometer, LED lights, buttons, microphone, temperature sensor, compass, radio and Bluetooth transmitter, etc. This allows kids to enjoy games, activities, and create experiments. Click here to learn about potential Micro:bit projects including step tracker, jukebox, intruder alarm, and disco ball. Besides, the Micro:bit website offers tutorials and ideas that can provide hope and inspiration to new coders.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is an open-source platform founded in 2005 and consists of simple hardware and software and is easy to understand for kids. If kids are not familiar with programming and engineering, they can still learn about it with Arduino. In addition, a wide range of capabilities makes it an excellent choice for advanced users. It also allows users to adjust their own needs and interests.

Languages and Platforms Arduino Offers

Developers program the Arduino board using the Arduino programming language, which is the modification of the text-based language C++. It uses a text editor Arduino Software (Integrated Development Environment) to write the code. Kids can also use this software to write ‘sketches’ and upload them to their Arduino microcontrollers. Besides, thousands of Arduino libraries are available for users. These libraries offer packages of code that users can import into the program to enjoy extra functionalities.

Following are the two ways to program the Arduino board:

  • Kids can use the Arduino web editor suitable for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. The web editor is more reliable than the desktop IDE in many ways. Users can save their programs in the cloud and access them using any device. Another benefit is users do not have to install the updates because the web editor is up-to-date. In addition, the editor incorporates the most popular libraries.
  • Users can install the latest version of Arduino desktop IDE that runs on the Chrome and Linux operating systems, Windows, and Mac. It has more advantages as it offers more storage space (the web editor only stores 100MB or 100 programs) and allows coding any compatible program. Interestingly, users do not need an internet connection.

What Arduino Allows you to Do?

Arduino is one of the most suitable platforms for everyone, including teachers, designers, kids, programmers, artists, etc. It is easy to use by following simple step-by-step instructions. Another option is to learn from the members of the Arduino community.

It offers various boards and kits, from the Arduino Starter Kit for beginners to advanced functionality boards for robotics experiments and Internet of things devices, and industrial communications devices. More importantly, one of the most popular boards is the Arduino Uno. The hardware system for each board is different. It includes features like input/output pins, a power jack, gyroscope, magnetometer, USB connection, Bluetooth sensor, accelerometer, etc.

Micro:bit vs. Arduino, Which is More Useful for Kids?

Micro:bit and Arduino are both simple and low-cost tools that help kids learn to code. Users do not need any knowledge of programming and electronics to use them. Both of the boards introduce many sensors and input and output controls for enjoying exciting activities. In addition, kids develop creative skills and problem-solving abilities using these tiny computers.

Difference between Micro:bit vs. Arduino

  • Micro:bit is simple and more powerful than Arduino because it has many more functions, including LEDs, buttons, accelerometer, and compass. In addition, it does not need any extension.
  • Arduino’s Uno board does not have such hardware, and users need to purchase more extensions to increase its functionality. Multiple Arduino extensions offer more advanced programming and engineering projects. However, it makes the process more complex and expensive.
  • It is possible to code micro:bit in Python or JavaScript-based block coding that is more accessible for kids. On the other hand, Arduino programs written on Arduino IDE can only be written using C++ language. Even though Arduino’s C++ version is simplified, its interface is not as engaging as a block-based language. For kids, it is not easy to use the Arduino board without installing third-party software like mBlock to program with Scratch.

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