Micro Bittle is an educational project developed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) students. It uses the BBC micro:bit microcontroller, a pocket-sized computer, to help sixth-grade students understand the difference between input and output, in an experience that combines physical computing, virtual worlds, and problem-solving.
Students will be led by their teachers to use the micro:bit board, physical sensors and controllers, and a web application created by the Micro Bittle team. Through a series of gamified activities, they will be able to visualize more clearly how input and output work together, learning how to manipulate the former in order to control the latter. The project includes processes of wiring electronic components to the micro:bit, programming how data from physical input is interpreted as output in a virtual environment, and how to utilize this knowledge to tackle in-game challenges.
This project was brought to CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center by Lou Karas, Director of the Center for Arts and Education at West Liberty University. The center “is a multi-faceted hands-on learning laboratory and resource center focused on the integration of the arts, creativity, and technology.” Its purpose is “to provide innovative professional development programs, resources and services to educators, students, teaching artists and others interested in the role of the arts and creativity in Pre-K to 12th grade education.”