80,000 Micro:bits Helping Students Learn about Robotics

By 4 November 2018

Although robotics is not for everyone, digital technologies are already essential in a large number of occupations and they will soon be key for almost all professions, says Nenad Bakić. He will discuss the importance of robotics in education at the “Better Education, Better Croatia” conference which will be held on November 12, reports on November 4, 2018.

The founder of the Croatian Makers project, which brought learning about advanced technologies into many Croatian schools, says that robotics is an attractive discipline and children love it.

Initially as part of the independent project “STEM Revolution”, and later in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Education, about 85% of Croatian schools which have volunteered for the project have received microcomputers for all their sixth-grade students, while their teachers were educated on how to use them.

In the meantime, Varaždin County has introduced programming with micro:bits for all lower grade students. As part of these and other initiatives, more than 80,000 micro:bits have entered the schools and libraries.

“It is important for kids to learn how to program, but even more important is the way of thinking they will develop. We are developing children’s competencies that have been neglected so far in Croatian schools, such as the ability to collaborate, their communication skills and the algebraic way of thinking,” says Bakić.

The entrepreneur points out that, starting from this year, Sweden has introduced programming as a compulsory subject from the first grade of elementary schools.

Bakić adds that his IRIM association has opted for micro:bits because of their wide applicability. “At first, we had robotics training in 360 schools – the number has now risen to 550 – but the technology actually served only those children who were interested in it. We have been looking for the technology that will fully democratise the learning of digital skills, and the micro:bit is as an ideal a tool for this,” says Bakić.

More than 2,000 teachers have expressed their interest in the Croatian Makers project, he adds.

“Nowadays, children can learn about the gradient of a slope by programming their micro:bits”, explains Bakić. “We have also educated 30 religious studies teachers for their use, and more and more girls are getting involved in the project as well,” Bakić concludes.

If you want to read more about the digital revolution in Croatia, click here.

Translated from