BBC Micro Bit: One million kids get them for free, and now you can buy one too

Tiny BBC-backed programming board that was given away free to one million children also goes on sale to the public.

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Adding to the range of maker board options, the BBC Micro Bit is now available to order.

Image: BBC

The BBC Micro Bit, a tiny programming board aimed at giving children a taste of coding, is now available to everyone to buy.

In March, the BBC started distributing a million of the diminutive boards to 11 to 13 year olds in schools across the UK: the idea is that Micro Bits will be used in school projects but the children will own the devices themselves, so they can also use them to build their own devices.

The name of the entry-level board is a nod to the BBC Micro - the home computer from the 1980s which was credited with creating a generation of tech entrepreneurs, although the new device is significantly simpler (and cheaper).

A pack including a BBC Micro Bit, USB cable, battery holder and two AAA batteries along with a quick start guide is now available for £12.29 (so long as you are willing to buy 90) from Premier Farnell with delivery expected in July. A single Micro Bit and guide will sell for £10.49 for the same-sized order.

That means the Micro Bit compares favourably on price to the latest model of Raspberry Pi, which sells for $35, but not so well to the Raspberry Pi Zero, on sale for $5, which is more comparable in terms of size and price. You can check out the Micros Bit specs in comparison with the Pi Zero here.

A range of Micro Bit accessories are also going to be released over the course of 2017, including a power pack, official case and kits for more complex projects such as robotics and IoT sensing.

More on the BBC Micro Bit