Have you ever heard of a micro:bit? Yes, you most probably have. Micro bit has become very popular that everyone has at least heard the name micro bit even if they really do not know what it is.
A micro:bit is a small board which looks like a printed circuit board and that has a microcontroller at its cortex and has 25 LEDs that act as a rudimentary display. A simple example on where to use this micro bit is you can make words and messages to scroll across these LEDs once you program the micro bit with the help of a PC. It has got an accelerometer, a thermometer to measure temperatures, if you need to detect tilting and movement; it has got a compass, it has Bluetooth facility which you can use to connect this to other devices with Bluetooth as well, and two buttons from which it can interact with the users. You do not need a television, monitor, keyboard, or mouse to operate a micro bit. You only need a PC which has a coding environment by which you are going to write the program and flash on to the micro bit. Once you are done with the programming and it is fed or flashed to the micro bit, the program stays in the flash memory and then it can be put into any kind of projects from simple badges to complicated robot operating systems.
Micro:bit is powered by a simple battery setup and once it is flat, it runs in there all the time. So, the programming is done on a PC and then you flash it over to the micro bit and run the program. Every time it starts up it runs the same program, so it is easy to get into programming
A micro bit is a small board which looks like a printed circuit board and that has a microcontroller at its cortex and has 25 LEDs that act as a rudimentary display.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)
STEAM is not just a subject in school. It is a way of thinking, doing and an important skill set that helps together to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
The abbreviation STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. But it is not about being an expert in all the things. Instead, it is about harnessing the essential transferable skills behind all the five fields. Scientists knows how to hypothesis, experiment, analyze and evaluate what the discover is. Technology can make our lives better. Designers of all sorts work together to make everyday tasks more effective and more fun. Engineers do not just wear hard hats. They are problem solvers that work on some of the world’s biggest challenges like creating bionic limbs for people with disabilities or exploring outer space. Mathematics teaches us how to quantify data and how physics rules the world around us. With mathematics we can implement change and minimize error. Arts is integrated into all of these. The way of thinking, presenting ideas, design and creativity falls under Arts. You will not have to master all of these skills. Teamwork is an essential STEAM skill. For an example take the search for new energy source. Geologists and geophysicists search for gas deposits. Engineers help you design and run platforms and processing plants. Construction
teams work to build essential infrastructure under the supervision of project managers and environmental scientists work with everyone every step of the way. Working in a team and planning to your strengths will have you creating a greater impact than if you were working alone.
STEAM skills are important to almost every career. 75% of today’s fastest growing careers require STEAM skills. We do not yet know what kind of jobs will exist in 10, 20 or 30 years from now on. But with STEAM you are prepared to anything.
Importance of micro bit in STEAM
People’s brains’ functions are different to each other’s. But it is a common to every brain that its favorite method of learning is by playing. Therefore, micro bit and STEAM together merges to become STEAM bit to give the learners the opportunity to learn by playing.
As mentioned above the micro bit is a circuit board that comes with features like LED lights grid, temperature sensor, Bluetooth facility, USB interface and a compass. Steam bit ensures that learning is made an enjoyable experience to anyone. In other simple words, with steam bits kids can utilize the applications of micro bit to a fully realized scale of their ideas and truly unlock their imagination while having fun on the play. The programmable blocks that comprises of more than 260 building blocks is called the micro bit and the use of it is marked with a the steam board that is specially designed expansion board that is used for programming different movement structures, sensors etc. The use of the micro bit and STEAM in steam bit has given the great opportunity to play and learn programming, which is one of the best ways to start learning programming. Regardless of you know programming or you do not, stem bit is a device that is easy, fun and learn on the go. Stem bit is an easy to assemble programmable kit that helps to design multiple structures from cars and skyscrapers to anything your imagination takes you. It enables you to nurture creativity in kids by allowing them to program different components, learn about multiple sensors and play with those together. Steam bit has combined electronic components with building blocks to make devices such as infrared remote controls, obstacle avoidance sensors, tracking instruments, colorful lights, and other functions. These allow users to control and move the blocks as they require with programming.
With so many different combinations you can make and the number of programming options that are available, this is a great source of entertainment and education for everyone. Steam bit supports all the four programming languages that micro bit uses, again giving you endless opportunities to power your imagination and nurture your creativity. You can also take control of the design structures using the game pattern. With the steam bit you could learn robot creation in a handful knowledge, work with different sensors and electronic circuits and enhance your programming skills. It helps you enrich the imagination using technology. In simple words it is a combination of blocks and the electronic modules together.
The STEAM can be considered the five forces that drive the world today. And it is something that every single person should know and practice. The following will explain how the STEAM education is applied in working with micro bit.
S (Science) – Observing a problem and creating a hypothetical solution to the problem by analyzing the data
T (Technology) – Learning and using a programming language to address the problem and learn about actual electronic circuits to create for the solution. You write the program in the PC and save it as a hex file and then later flashed to the micro bit.
E (Engineering) – Building the basic structures (circuits and devices) using the equipment available so that it can be used to solve the raised problem. This is where the system design, implementation, and physical creation of the structure falls under.
A (Arts) – The designs of the letters, presentation of the solution, circuit designs and communication skills needed to present falls under Art skill. Arts is combined with all other factors.
M (Mathematics) – Final calculation of the results and comparison it with the hypothesis made
For example, imagine that the problem you need to find a solution in electronics is that you have to display some words in a billboard by the road. We can analyze the situation by putting it into STEAM to understand the importance of micro bit in STEAM as the science in it is the process of thinking what components are to be used, how are they to b used. The technology is writing the correct program that will illuminate the bulbs those will display the right letter at the right time. Engineering is the creation of the circuit. And finally, mathematics is the calculation of the time frames and patterns of the bulbs that needed to light up. Even without knowing we have used STEAM to display a word on a billboard. Now. How is this related to micro bit?
Micro bit can be identified as a unit where beginners get the opportunity to learn by playing or doing trial and error method. With a micro bit, the program that is to be used in the circuit can be tested and letters can be displayed by illuminating the LEDs on the micro bit board. The difficulties you may face when setting up the circuit and writing the program at once will be minimized with the micro bit and also micro bit will be a great help to a beginner to write the code for the first time. A beginner can write the program part by part by testing the respective part in the micro bit and identifying any errors that has occurred. Thus, he or she will not feel lost or confused if the program is not working as desired because he has the ability to test it part by part.