The BBC micro:bit continues to spread around the world with its official Japanese launch this week at the Tokyo Maker Faire. Representatives from the BBC micro:bit foundation and Farnell element14 were in attendance at the event, which brings together makers, industry representatives and tech enthusiasts of all ages to showcase and celebrate their latest projects and innovations.
Since launching in the UK in March 2016, the BBC micro:bit has enjoyed great success, with over 13 million visits to the microbit.org website, almost 10 million code simulator runs and 2 million compiles to devices. The micro:bit has been made available across most of Europe and was recently launched in the USA and Canada.
Ralf Buehler, SVP Sales and Marketing for Premier Farnell, said: “The BBC micro:bit project was a milestone event in the world of STEM education and computer programming in the UK – and we are delighted to make it available to buy through element14 in Japan. As the Development Distributor, we are committed to helping develop the future of technology, whether that is supporting customers building products that can change the world for the better, or helping a teacher inspire their class to get into coding. The BBC micro:bit is a fantastic way to introduce students to coding – allowing hands-on application of technology in a way that can inspire our younger generations.”
A recent survey run by the BBC micro:bit foundation revealed significant improvements in attitudes towards STEM from students who adopted the device. 39% of girls said they would definitely choose further study in ICT/Computing, compared to 23% before. 86% claimed that the BBC micro:bit made computer science more interesting to them, and 88% said that the BBC micro:bit demonstrated that coding was not as difficult as they previously imagined.