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Take part in our micro:bit class activity and surveys!

The Exploring Physical Computing in Schools (EPICS) project is a five-year, mixed methods project investigating physical computing and the BBC micro:bit in primary schools. We are working together with schools to find out the longer-term impact of using physical computing activities. We are now at the stage where we would like your help to find out about how you’ve been getting on with physical computing.

Take part in our research

This summer we would like to hear from teachers and pupils in Years 3, 4 or 5 (England/Wales) and Primary 4, 5 or 6 (Scotland/Northern Ireland).

For this, we would like you to deliver a short micro:bit activity to your class and then have them answer some questions about the activity that just took place. We’d also like you to fill in a teacher questionnaire as well. Both pupil and teacher questionnaires can be filled in on paper or online, whichever you prefer.

If you would rather just complete the teacher questionnaire and not deliver the class activity, that’s also fine. 

Important! The children won’t need to program the micro:bits—we’ve designed the code already. You just need to download the code onto your class set of micro:bits. 

If you want to take part, you need to choose one of three options:

  1. Taking part in the class activity and completing paper-based pupil and teacher questionnaires.*
  2. Taking part in the class activity and completing online pupil and teacher questionnaires.
  3. Completing the teacher questionnaire only (online).

Once you’ve delivered the activity, collected the pupil questionnaires, and filled in your own, you can then post them back to us. We will provide a stamped addressed envelope.

*As this is a research activity, parents are obviously able to request that you don’t send your children’s answers to us. Prior to delivering the activity, we’d like you to distribute parental opt-out forms, and make a note of which children’s parents have opted out from sending their completed questionnaires to us. All children in your class can take part in the class activity, but we don’t want to receive any pupil questionnaires from those who have opted out.

Our pupil questionnaire questions

What will I need to do?

If delivering the class activity: 

You’ll either need to tell us your school address so we can post your paper-based research pack to you, or tell us your email address so we can send you an online research pack.

The research pack contains: 

You’ll then need to deliver a 30–40 minute micro:bit activity, which includes an introduction, group investigation using the micro:bits, and some questions for the pupils to answer. The activity has been designed so that pupils need no prior experience of the micro:bit. They will be investigating the sensors, inputs and outputs to discover what the micro:bit can do!

When should I take part?

You decide when the activity should take place. 

Wherever you are based, we ask that all class activities and questionnaires are completed by the 15th of September 2024.

Your class should be in Year 3, 4 or 5, or Primary 4, 5 or 6 when the activity and questionnaires take place. 

You can complete your own questionnaire at a time that is convenient for you. 

How do I send you my completed questionnaires?

Once you’ve delivered the class activity, make a note of the children whose parents have opted out. If paper-based, keep these questionnaires to one side. If online, delete these pupils’ responses from the online questionnaire. 

Then, if paper-based, package up the pupil questionnaires (those who haven’t opted out!) and your own questionnaire, and send them to us in the envelopes provided. Our address is: 

Dr Jessie Durk
William Gates Building
Department of Computer Science and Technology
15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge 
CB3 0FD

Anonymity 

Where do I sign up?

(use this Google form if you are experiencing issues with accessing the Microsoft form)


(use this Google form if you are experiencing issues with accessing the Microsoft form)



If you can help us, thank you! 

In your pack, there will be the option to enter into a prize draw for some computing-related books for your school library.