OKdo, the global technology company from Electrocomponents plc, has completed a pledged donation of 5,000 BBC micro:bits to young people - specifically girls and those from underrepresented groups - worldwide. The donation is just one element of its strategic partner role in the 2021 global micro:bit ‘do your : bit'  challenge, which combines digital learning with positive social impact.

The do your : bit challenge co-ordinated by the Micro:bit Educational Foundation tests imagination, creativity and technology skills and asks students from across the world to come up with inventive solutions that are linked with the UN’s Global Goals of ‘good health and wellbeing’ and ‘climate action’. micro:bit projects could explore inventions such as radio animal trackers for endangered species, or pedometers to monitor steps taken.

The 5,000 micro:bit donations from OKdo have been delivered to children in Africa, the Balkans, Colombia, the Middle East, rural Canada, New Mexico and inner-city locations in England and Scotland, to get them engaged in the competition, and in ongoing computer science skills and digital learning.

Donations have been received by:

  • British Council to support children in Nepal, Tunisia, and UK
  • The Design & Technology Association to support teaching in UK
  • Rainy Rivers School District in Canada
  • Ink Smith, Ontario, Canada
  • Space Science Institute in Colorado, North America
  • Code Art to support girls get into code New York City, North America
  • LoGig Tech supporting children’s learning in Ghana, Africa
  • STEAM Labs Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Ataturk Vocational and Technical High School in Ankara, Turkey

OKdo is now encouraging students worldwide, aged 8-18 to participate in the challenge before the July 30th deadline. Entrants do not need to have received a donated micro:bit to get involved in the free-to-enter contest, and no purchase is necessary either. Competitors also don’t need a micro:bit to use the online simulator tool, or to come up with an amazing idea on paper.

Students can enter individually, or as part of a small team, and the top global entrants that come up with the most imaginative and effective design solutions will win micro:bit prizes.

The 2020 challenge winner inventions included an alarm system to monitor underwater vandalism that causes harm to local sea-life, and a device that prevents birds from colliding into glass windows.

To help teachers and coding club leaders inspire students, OKdo has produced a range of interactive learning videos which offer guidance to competition participants on the design engineering process. These videos can be found at: https://www.okdo.com/do-your-bit/.

There are also additional resources including the entry form at: https://www.microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/.

Richard Curtin, Co-Founder at OKdo said:

“We are delighted to be involved in the ‘do your : bit’ 2021 challenge as strategic partner, and we hope that our 5,000 BBC micro:bit donations encourage the recipients to engage with digital learning and coding skills.

“We believe that computer science is an important element of STEM education in the 21st century, and that giving more children across the world the opportunity to learn digital skills, and understand the design engineering process, will be highly advantageous to all society in the future. This competition really does bring technology and positive social impact together.

“Our new interactive video guides should be useful for any teachers or coding club leaders that want to get their students involved in this exciting, unique challenge.

“We wish all the entrants the very best of luck, and we can’t wait to see all the remarkable designs that the world’s most talented young inventors come up with!”

Gareth Stockdale, CEO at Micro:bit Educational Foundation said:

“We are excited that OKdo have chosen to be a strategic partner for do your:bit. With their help we can reach more children around the world, inspiring them to apply their digital skills to real world solutions linked to the Global Goals and adding social purpose to digital learning."

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