Farnell is working with governments, re-sellers and strategic partnerships to support product-led educational initiatives, internationally. Programmes supported by Farnell aim to create fun and interactive learning environments for students to develop an understanding of electronics at a young age, and build a pathway into a range of engineering and technology-driven careers. 

The micro:bit has experienced significant success since its launch through a programme led by the BBC, in the UK, in 2016.  Since this date, Farnell has shipped over 2.5m micro:bit boards globally, supporting programmes as far flung as Denmark, Canada and Singapore. Sales of this popular coding device almost doubled in the last 12 months, over the previous period, with more than half of sales supporting broad educational programmes. 

The latest programme to be supported by Farnell is being rolled out in Norway. Entitled “super:bit”, this project is a collaboration between the national science centres in Norway. The national rollout provides a classroom kit of technology to each of the 2,400 secondary schools in Norway, over two years, starting in September 2019. The kits have an interactive smart city theme and pupils will learn how to use the micro:bit through applications such as planning traffic flow around green spaces, by using sensors to control traffic lights. The kits, shipped by Farnell, include micro:bits, robots and other electronic/non-electronic components.

Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and Single Board Computers at Farnell, says: “We are committed to educating and inspiring future generations of engineers by making it easier to introduce children to the world of electronics in schools and code clubs. Programmes such as ‘super:bit’ in Norway, enable teachers to teach basic electronics and computational thinking with easy access to products and educational resources. Farnell, as the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of the micro:bit, and global electronics distributor, is uniquely able to support programmes such as this.”

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