• Kids Code

Code Savvy Experience: Byte-Sized Challenge

Student’s day-to-day schedules are so busy. Between classes, sports, music lessons, and spending time with friends and family, it can be really hard to find time for any additional learning activities.


Code Savvy wants to ensure that all students (and teachers) have access to computer science education throughout Minnesota, so in partnership with the folks at Thomson Reuters we created the Byte-Sized Challenge to meet students where they already are.


The Byte-Sized challenge consists of 16 - 40 minute lessons, which can be delivered over 8-10 weeks, directly in the classroom.


We provide the curriculum, hardware (Micro:Bits), industry mentors, and snacks - teachers provide the classroom oversight, guidance, computers/chromebooks, and the relationships with their students.


The season kicks off in February and then we wrap up the challenge with an award ceremony and big ‘ol party at the end of May to celebrate the student’s accomplishments.


What is the Micro:Bit?

A Micro:Bit is a programmable single-board computer. It may seem simple, but it’s very powerful. With features like bluetooth connection, an accelerometer, sensors, LEDs, buttons, and speakers all integrated within the device, no extensions are needed to build some really fun projects.


The main programming languages supported with the Micro:Bit are Javascript and Micro-Python. There is also block-programming that works with the Micro:Bit called “MakeCode” which is a subset of TypeScript.


Some of the projects that students in our program have built with the Micro:Bit are step-counters, soil sensors, door alarms, and emoji displays. There are so many creative ways to use the Micro:Bit!


What will Students Learn?

In addition to gaining some significant creative coding experience, students will get lessons in problem solving, user experience and design thinking, and gain presentation skills and confidence throughout the process. They will become more comfortable with the concepts of failure and perseverance, learning that if they continue to work through issues that arise, success will follow. Our hope is that this challenge will inspire them to continue exploring technology for the rest of their lives.


What are the Next Steps for Educators?

Don’t be concerned if you feel like you don’t have the technical chops for a project like this. Our curriculum is designed with you in mind, and we provide lots of training and support.


So if you’re interested in bringing this program to your classroom, make sure you sign up today! This is still a pilot program, so spots are limited for the time being, but we’d love to work with you and your students to bring physical computing and creative coding to your school in 2023!


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