SOURCE: SparkFun Electronics

SparkFun Electronics

March 22, 2017 14:03 ET

SparkFun opens micro:bit technology to US markets

On the heels of micro:bit's success in the UK, educators and engineers in the US finally get a chance to implement this easy-to-use hardware platform in their classrooms and labs

BOULDER, CO--(Marketwired - March 22, 2017) - SparkFun Electronics will begin carrying the micro:bit in the United States, available for pre­-sale at www.sparkfuneducation.com starting March 21 and shipping in early May 2017. The micro:bit -- a beginner-­friendly, reprogrammable microcontroller -- gained popularity after the BBC gave the board to every 11-­ and 12-­year­-old student in the United Kingdom to inspire a new generation to pursue innovation in computer science.

"We're always looking for opportunities to support teachers' efforts in finding new ways for students to explore programming and hardware," said Glenn Samala, SparkFun CEO. "Given the micro:bit's wild success as a teaching tool overseas, we look forward to sharing it with our friends in education here in the U.S."

The micro:bit, as an open development board, works in sync with other hardware components and soft materials to create projects that can ignite creativity using technology as an artistic medium. The micro:bit's 25 LED array, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, embedded compass and accelerometer, and mobile and web-­based programming capabilities make the board an effective tool for teaching and engaging in computational thinking and basic electronics in an inspiring and interactive way.

As a Google Chromebook­-compatible board, the micro:bit can be easily integrated into a classroom's existing technological framework. The micro:bit can be programmed using a number of platforms such as MakeCode, an online environment where the user can choose either block or text-­based (JavaScript) programming; MicroPython; as well as many others that give users the opportunity to learn a variety of programming languages and their connection to hardware. The board is also compatible with Android and iOS code editors for mobile programming.

"We are excited to be working with SparkFun to bring the micro:bit to school children in the United States," said Zach Shelby, micro:bit Foundation CEO. "Their commitment to education makes them perfectly placed to introduce students across the country to the micro:bit and provide teachers with access to a range of teaching tools that will help them take micro:bit into U.S. classrooms."

About SparkFun (www.sparkfuneducation.com)

In 2003, CU student Nate Seidle blew a power supply in his dorm room and, in lieu of a way to order easy replacements, decided to start his own company. Since then, SparkFun has been committed to sustainably helping our world achieve electronics literacy from our headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. No matter your vision, SparkFun's products and resources are designed to make the world of electronics more accessible. In addition to more than 2,000 open source components and widgets, SparkFun offers curriculum, training and online tutorials designed to demystify the wonderful world of embedded electronics. We're here to help you start something.

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Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Megan Arnold
    Manager, Public Relations
    Marketing & Communications
    SparkFun Electronics, Inc.
    m: 847.924.7305
    p: 303.284.0979 x801