Follow this step by step guide to turn a BBC micro:bit into a musical quiz buzzer: use it in class or at home whenever you feel the urge to work out who’s ready to answer a question first out of two teams / individuals.
This tutorial is designed for beginners with little or no programming experience in python but it’ll cover:
Loops: repeating code with a while loop
Lists: storing more than one piece of data in order
Conditional logic: using IF statements to let your code make decisions.
How to display text and images on a micro:bit screen
How to detect if a button has been pressed on a micro:bit
Follow these simple steps to code your own version of flappy bird on the BBC micro:bit. This tutorial is designed for someone with little or no programming experience who wants to get started writing python code. You don’t need a micro:bit to follow this tutorial, but it’s more fun if you’ve got one.
The BBC micro:bit only has a 5×5 LED screen so the graphics on our version of flappy bird are going to be predictably poor. But that means that it’s not too difficult to write (my version has 82 lines of code including comments and blank lines)
The original Flappy Bird is a really simple idea for a game that’s fun to play. By going through this tutorial you’ll learn how to understand / use the following in python:
How to display text on the micro:bit screen
How to use variables to keep track of score
How to display images on the micro:bit screen
How to scroll images on the micro:bit screen
How to detect if the user presses a button
How to keep part of your code looping
Python is a text-based programming language that’s designed to let you write as little code as possible that gets as much done as possible. There are other languages you can code a micro:bit with which are perhaps easier for beginners but once you’ve mastered the basics in python it’s much easier to create whatever you like – there’s no faffing around dragging hundreds of blocks together and using your keyboard to write code ends up being much faster than using your mouse / tapping your screen. The skills you learn in this tutorial will also help you with other python programming projects – not just those for the micro:bit.
Why the micro:bit simulator?
Testing your code on an actual BBC micro:bit is much more fun than running in in a simulator. You can use the BBC micro:bit site or the offline python editor mu to write code and send it to your micro:bit. Sometimes though, a simulator can be really useful:
It lets you test the code without having to download the .hex file and wait for it to copy to the device
This is a BBC micro:bit for beginners tutorial that shows you how to write some python code to turn a micro:bit into a sign you can stick to your bedroom door.
Python is a programming language that’s designed to let you write as little code as possible to make as much work as possible. Writing code on in python on a micro:bit is a great way to get your head around the essentials in python and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way too.
The micro:bit has an LED screen with just 5×5 pixels (dots). This isn’t much compared to the 2880×1800 pixels you might be used to if you’ve got a Macbook Pro but it’s big enough to display simple pictures and text one letter at a time.
We’re going to be using the create.withcode.uk microbit simulator to write and test our code. To run the code you can press Ctrl + Enter or click on the run button in the bottom right of the code window.
If you want to test your code on an actual micro:bit, run the code in the simulator first then click on the Download Hex button. This’ll download a my_code.hex file that will run on your micro:bit when you drag it and drop it as though you were copying a file to USB memory stick.
There are two ways of displaying text to the micro:bit screen: display.scroll() and display.show(). What’s the difference? Which do you prefer?
Line 1 tells python to import the microbit module. That means that python loads some extra code which tells it how to control a microbit. Lines like this, where you’re importing a module, usually go at the top of your code.