Announcing: New Maker & Physical Computing Resources

New unit: Creating Apps with Devices is thrilled to announce that the popular physical computing unit from our Computer Science Discoveries curriculum is now available as a stand-alone unit fit for grades 6–12.

In Creating Apps with Devices, students will use App Lab and Adafruit’s Circuit Playground to develop programs that utilize the same hardware inputs and outputs that you see in smart devices, looking at how a simple prototype can lead to a finished product. Then, students will explore how physical devices can be used to react to the world around them using a maker mindset to create prototypes with everyday materials.

Professional learning now available

We are also proud to offer a self-paced professional learning course for teachers interested in using this new unit. During the 100-minute online module, participants will:

  • Learn about’s mission and platform
  • Get an introduction to physical computing
  • Practice key concepts included in the unit
  • Explore lessons plans and projects as well as teacher resources

Micro:bit resources for CS Fundamentals

Inspired by our shared goals of improving digital literacy and empowering computer science educators in schools, has partnered with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation to offer teachers several resources on using the BBC micro:bit device as an extension to our CS Fundamentals curriculum. There are more than 7 million micro:bit programmable devices already in use around the world.

Each set of these new CSF lesson guides shows how to use physical computing to build on what students are learning in CSF and to deepen their conceptual understanding by taking code off the screen and into their hands. Click here to learn more and view the resources.

Why physical computing?

Research has found that adding physical computing to computer science education helps deepen understanding, broaden participation, and maintain interest for a diverse array of students.

Using physical devices can not only transform a student’s perspective of the purpose of computing, but it can help them connect the actions on the screen to real-world impacts. Additionally, physical computing environments can have a positive effect on collaboration and interpersonal skills because students must often work together.