Kitronik becomes official micro:bit wholesaler
Published: 19 May 2017 - 12:00 - Amy Wallington
Kitronik, a leading provider of electronic project kits and educational resources to schools and one of the original partner organisations in the BBC micro:bit project, has announced that it is now an official micro:bit wholesaler. The company is one of only two wholesalers for the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.
Along with companies including ARM, Samsung, Microsoft and Barclays, Kitronik has been involved in the development of the BBC micro:bit project since its launch in July 2015. With help from the BBC micro:bit partnership organisations, 2016 also saw over 1 million free micro:bits handed out to year 7 pupils in UK secondary schools.
Kitronik works closely with the micro:bit Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation set up in 2016 that aims to expand the use of the device across the globe. In supporting the Foundation’s sponsorship program, Kitronik is committed to its aim of supporting schools and youth programs all around the world where great work is being undertaken in local communities.
As part of this, Kitronik runs the Micro:bit Educational Foundation’s Give Shop, a sponsorship scheme that helps to change the lives of disadvantaged children around the world by helping them learn to code and invent with the micro:bit. Through the provision of a sponsorship scheme, the Foundation donates and ships micro:bits for free to schools and youth programmes across the world, from rural communities in Sri Lanka, to disadvantaged teens in Canada. The scheme has already helped nearly ten thousand children globally and aims to reach tens of thousands by the end of 2017.
The sponsorship scheme works on the principle of ‘pay it forward’. Each time a micro:bit is purchased, the Foundation sends the customer a device, but also uses the purchase to donate an equivalent item to a school, code club or youth programme needing support.
Building on its experience with the Foundation and its expertise in working with over 3,000 UK secondary schools, Kitronik’s role with the micro:bit project continues to focus on the development of teaching resources and inspiring projects to enable the device to be used within design and technology lessons and across the curriculum in UK secondary schools. As such, Kitronik has created a range of products, projects and tutorials, available for free on its website, that support teachers and students in using the device to develop the necessary skills and knowledge through hands-on, relevant coding experiences.
Now an official wholesaler, Kitronik will distribute the micro:bit in bulk to schools, educational institutions, code clubs, and Government Education Departments of countries across the world. For example, Kitronik has already reached agreements with philanthropists in Croatia and Serbia who are using the micro:bit to help improve how STEM subjects and coding is taught in the countries.
Kitronik co-founder and director Geoff Hampson comments: “The BBC micro:bit is all about inspiring a new generation to get creative with coding and digital technologies. At Kitronik, we are focussing on facilitating both the educational and practical uses of the BBC micro:bit. We feel that by becoming an official wholesaler of the BBC micro:bit we will help our customers in the UK and abroad easily access all the resources necessary for their electronics projects in one place.”
Kitronik’s range of micro:bit projects include:
• The Kitronik Inventor’s Kit
• An Edge Connector Breakout Board
• The MI:pro Protective Case
• The MI:pro Mountable Case
• The Motor Driver Board
• A Line Following Buggy
• A Prototyping System for the BBC micro:bit
• Free CAD resources for the device.
The complete range of projects and resources can be found here.
Geoff adds: “Our micro:bit projects are designed with all users in mind. We believe that the Kitronik resources will also encourage parents to have a go at coding with their children and we hope that this will spur on some amazing family projects. I look forward to seeing them on our Twitter feed!”