Newark element14 recently teamed up with TechGirlz - a nonprofit organisation dedicated to reducing the gender gap in technology industries - to provide middle school students in Chicago with a hands-on introduction to basic coding.

Hosted at two Microsoft stores in Northbridge and Shaumburg, the TechGirlz workshops used the BBC micro:bit to teach students how to create simple programs incorporating sensors, lights and displays. All the participants were given their own micro:bit device to keep - donated by Newark element14.

Dianne Kibbey, element14's Global Head of Community and Social Media was the organiser of the event, having already worked with TechGirlz to set up a coding group at a Chicago's Walt Disney Magnet II School.

"At Newark element14, we're passionate about inspiring young people to consider careers in technology and providing support to teachers who are looking to introduce tech projects into the classroom" she said.

"Having worked in tech for 25 years, I am personally excited about getting more girls excited about coding and introducing them to the many opportunities that are available to them.

Since officially launching in North America earlier this year, the BBC micro:bit has been adopted by education and technology initiatives across the USA. Newark element14 is a key manufacturing partner and distributor of the device. You can find them for US delivery on