BBC micro:bit in space

The BBC micro:bit is a small programmable device, designed to engage children with coding and the world of digital. Given to all 11-12 year old students across the UK in 2016, it is supported with a range of programming environments available here.

This collection of resources uses the context of human spaceflight to engage students with scientific concepts through computing technology. Each resource is supported by ready-to-run programs that are downloaded onto the micro:bit device from the internet. No programming skill is required, but each activity offers the chance of extending functionality and understanding by altering the existing code.


Astronaut reaction speed

This activity includes a game-based approach to measuring reaction speed. Fast reflexes are vital to astronauts who may need to deal with rapidly escalating incidents and high-speed projectiles.

The effect of distraction on reaction speed is investigated – students collect multiple readings and take averages...

Solids, liquids, gases

The relationship between energy and states of matter is sometimes difficult for students to comprehend. This activity helps to reinforce the notion that, when energy is added to a system, the molecules themselves do not change but their motion and relative positions do change.

While the model is a...

Visual perception

Astronauts, and especially spacecraft commanders, must take in a huge amounts of information from displays and screens. Small changes in this information might indicate important changes that should be addressed, and missing the signs may have important consequences.

This simple activity challenges students...

Plant growth

The growth of plants in space is a keen area of experimentation, including ongoing work aboard the International Space Station. Successful crops will help astronauts to spend longer in space, boosting their healthy diet while reducing the mass of prepared food that must be transported from Earth.

Using a...


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