Change display time — Currently: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (Event time)

Expand Learning Possibilities With Your Existing Micro:bits

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 115C

Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Preregistration Required
Save to My Favorites


Education Manager & EdTech Coach
EDGEucating LLC
Alicia Verweij is a seasoned educator, passionate about teaching children to think critically and problem-solve in preparation for future careers. She is committed to collaborative, engaging learning techniques and assisting educators in implementing them. In addition to decades of classroom experience, she holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, a B.S. in Business Management, an Education Certification, and an endorsement in Gifted Education. She has received numerous grants and awards for her success in the classroom and continues to share her passion for integrating STEAM and Project-based learning at local, state, regional, national, and international levels.
Computer Science - Curriculum Specialist
Marquette University
@Heidi Ann Williams
Heidi Williams is a passionate coding and computational thinking advocate. She has over 30 years of experience in K-12 public education as both a teacher and administrator. She currently serves as a computer science curriculum specialist for Marquette University's PUMP CS grant in Milwaukee, WI. Williams has shared her passion for integrating coding and computational thinking into the curriculum at local, state, regional and national conferences, and many have leveraged her expertise for conference presentations, coding coaching, professional development and K-12 scope and sequence alignment of computer science skills throughout the curriculum (

Session description

Have micro:bits and need new ways to implement them? Discover how to incorporate micro:bits to create entirely new learning possibilities. Revive your STEAM and CT lessons while helping students develop important soft skills for future success. Participants will leave with concrete, classroom-ready ideas and resources.

Purpose & objective

This session will highlight multiple subject area lessons that utilize microbits to teach the concepts. Using Strawbees, Finch, & HummingBird kits we will highlight how educators can use their existing microbits to expand student engagement and learning.
Lesson 1: Learn about the essential role plants offer for sustaining life on earth. Covered in the lesson is going through the parts, processes, and full life cycle of plants. Students will create a flower that senses light and responds to the stimuli in its environment, opening and closing with light. (Strawbees)
Lesson 2: Design a system to measure the distance between points A and B using a distance sensor at a third point C. The distances CA and CB can change, but the angle ACB is always a right angle. (HummingBird Kits)
Lesson 3: Bring a story or character to life through movement, light, and sound. Include the Finch as a character in a play or skit you put on. Move the Finch on stage at the appropriate time, and have it move, light up, and make sounds based on how the character should behave in the story. (Finch)

Testimonial from SARAH MAGNER Innovation Lab Teacher, Oakton, VA
"I can honestly say that teaching the students to program robots from BirdBrain Technologies has been my favorite unit all year. They come to the classroom excited to learn and try new ideas!"

There is loads of research to support the success of both the products and the lessons used in this session. Much of this data can be found here:

More [+]


Intro of products being used and their platform access details & lesson overviews: 10 min
Break attendees into groups to complete the lesson that best fits their curriculum area or grade level. - 40 min
Discussion and wrap up - 10 min

More [+]

Supporting research

This research states that the application of computing skills to ‘real world’ and a more joined-up teaching of how computing applies within subjects' aids in student understanding.

This research illustrates the ease of use and affordability of microbit specifically used in classrooms.

This research notes how microbit-type interfaces are used as tools in three major and sometimes overlapping areas: computer Science education, creative and engineering design education, and traditional science and math education. It details how and why micro bits are educationally successful tools.

A study by the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University was undertaken to evaluate ongoing uses of micro:bit devices in UK secondary schools.

A report from the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University focuses on "children’s (ages 9–10) likely uses of the micro:bit and an exploration of their implications...". Children imagined using the micro:bit for a range of purposes, from assistance with personal tasks, education, companionship and play.

More [+]

Session specifications

Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Everything will be provided.
Subject area:
Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session