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Introduction to Data Science With MakeCode and Micro:bit

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 126A

Participate and share: Interactive session
Recorded Session
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Head of North America
Micro:bit Educational Foundation
Katie is the Head of Partner Engagement for the Micro:bit Educational Foundation in North America. She has worked in education for more than thirteen years, first as a classroom teacher and training thousands of educators worldwide on the topics of computer science and digital creativity. Katie is a licensed school administrator and computer technology coach.
Product Manager
Microsoft Corporation
Jacqueline Russell is a Product Manager for Microsoft MakeCode. Jacqueline has worked in technology education since 2005, presenting nationally and internationally. She is passionate about using technology to enable innovative learning experiences and bring increased creativity to teaching and learning.

Session description

MakeCode is a "making and coding" programming language with a powerful simulator for making games and creating technological solutions in any classroom. It uses a block based language, JavaScript, or Python. In this hands-on session, we'll work through activities with MakeCode aligned to NGSS, math, CSTA and the ISTE Standards.

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this presentation is for educators to increase their computer science skills and confidence by learning how to use free web-based tools for their classrooms and seeing how other educators implement them in a variety of education settings.

Participants will be able to:
-Program inputs (temperature sensor, buttons, microphone, compass, radio) and outputs (LEDs and speaker) on a physical computing device
-Code a physical computing tool to log data for visualization and interpretation.
-Integrate physical computing into computer science and interdisciplinary courses.

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Note on accessibility: These learning resources can be adapted with Microsoft Immersive Reader (free accessibility tool integrated into tutorials) to help students who are blind and low vision utilize these tools. Each of these resources are translated into between six and thirty-two languages.

Example activities:

1) Tutorials
2) Tutorials
3) Lesson plans
4) Design challenges

We will use exemplars (by permission) from educators and students around the world.


10 min - Introductions of presenters and attendees. Share why you came today.
15 min - Participants each code a musical name badge (hands on, everyone makes something)
15 min - Participants create a dog-bark counter (or some other data logging device) - (hands on, everyone makes something)
10 min - Participants review and explore accessibility features of Make code.
15 minutes - Participants review and explore advanced programming techniques and Github integrations
All remaining time: teaching with the micro:bit: hear from expert practitioners through video clips, photos, and lesson plans, participants share their own experiences for discussion and feedback. Q and A.

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Supporting research

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Session specifications

Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
All resources are web-based with no accounts or pre-downloads required.
Subject area:
Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.