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100,000 BBC micro:bits are heading to Canada

22 February 2018

Premier Farnell is helping KidsCode Jeunesse roll out 100,000 BBC micro:bits across Canada to support the country’s CanCode initiative.

BBC micro:bit (Credit: Premier Farnell)

The BBC micro:bit will be used by young people across Canada through a multi-partner agreement led by KidsCode Jeunesse, a bilingual national non-profit organisation helping build long-term sustainable digital skill communities for Canadian children in every province and territory across the country. 

Premier Farnell, through its North America business, Newark element14, is the sole distributer of BBC micro:bit in Canada and has an exclusive contract with The Micro:bit Educational Foundation for the manufacture of BBC micro:bit.   

“As a father of four, the challenge of ensuring our younger generation is equipped with skills for the future is very close to home” said Dan Hill, President of Newark element14. “Newark element14 is committed to getting kids coding and helping to develop the next generation of engineers. Our partnership with The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is one way in which we do this. We have already seen this small coding device successfully integrated into large education programmes in the United Kingdom and Iceland, giving a whole generation within the country a head start in a global economy increasingly shaped by technology. It is fantastic to be partnering with KidsCode Jeunesse and helping the Government of Canada with this important initiative.” 

Jonathan Smith, Head of Education at Premier Farnell added: “Physical computing provides real solutions for engaging the younger generation in technology, giving them the opportunity to design and create physical devices that they can use in their lives, whilst learning important skills. Problem solving and computational thinking are predicted to be key skills that children today will need, when they leave education – physical computing including learning to code with the BBC micro:bit can help teach these. Our relationship with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation is focused on putting as many BBC micro:bit in kids hands as possible and we are delighted that the Government of Canada has chosen initiatives which use the BBC micro:bit for their coding programme.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, together with David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced local funding under the Government of Canada’s CanCode programme last week. CanCode funds coding and other digital skills training for Canadian youth to prepare them for the jobs of the future. Through this programme the micro:bit will be used to teach coding to groups in the classroom, libraries and  science centres.

Premier Farnell has provided BBC micro:bit for many national and regional educational programmes including the United Kingdom, Iceland, Singapore and Croatia.

The BBC micro:bit is available to buy from Newark element14 in North America, Farnell element14 in Europe and element14 in APAC.

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