Welcome to the BBC Micro:Bit - a compound board with a brain (the processor), a range of inbuilt sensors and a 5x5 LED matrix all packed onto a board that's hardly 5cm square.

There's a few different ways to program it, suiting everyone from novice to advanced and it's packed with great features to make programming a very creative and intuitive process.

If you're lucky enough to have one of the early release boards (or your child does) there's a few products that can really enhance the Micro:Bit experience.

The Micro:Bit has an obvious set of five flat terminals (pins) at the bottom of the board, marked '0', '1', '2', '3V' and 'GND', 3V and GND provide a 3 volt DC current and a ground channel for the Micro:Bit, the other three pins are GPIO - general purpose input / output, they can be used as an output (providing power for an led or a pulsed voltage for a speaker) or as input from external buttons switches and sensors. These pins are designed to be easy to use for children - they're big, so suitable for crocodile clips and have a loop for twisting wires or attaching conductive thread.

Edge Connectors

Along with the obvious five pins you’ll notice there are a number of smaller divisions between them - these are also pins that work in exactly the same way as the others bringing the total number of accessible pins to 21, however because of the size constraints of the Micro:Bit it's not possible to have them all as big, so this is where an edge connector comes in handy. Plug your Micro:Bit into an edge connector and you'll have proper pins for each of the connections on the Micro:Bit, a simple way to massively increase the Micro:Bit's potential. Edge connectors are available as a presoldered board or in kit form and there's also a Prototyping Kit that comes with an edge connector mounted to a mini workstation with breadboard.


While they're durable little things, Micro:Bit is not indestructible, choose from a fully enclosed case with easy mounting arms or a semi-case that still provides access to the pins while leaving the rest of the board well protected.

Here are some simple excercises to get you going with your Micro:Bit, if you want to show us what you've made or if there's anything you'd like us to cover drop us a message at showandtell@maplin.co.uk or contact us through our social media channels.
Download PDFs below
1. Getting a program onto your Micro:Bit
2. Your first program
3. Expanding your first program
4. Making your Micro:Bit respond to input
5. More input from on board hardware
6. Even more input - pins for touch sensitivity
7. Going in loops
8. Variables - Micro:Bit data
9. Getting Logical with your Micro:Bit
10. Power up those pins