Winning an award for creating a digital dictionary while he was still in school has inspired Prabhath Mannapperuma to foster a legion of budding young programmers in remote corners of Sri Lanka.
Mannapperuma, 24, heads a team of volunteers who fan out all over the country – firing up students with the Micro:bit, a tiny programmable device, and the message that writing computer code is no arcane art but within the reach of inquisitive fingers and curious minds.
“Kids come up with new solutions for their day-to-day problems. Having the required computational thinking is vital for their future,” says Mannapperuma, an IT professional and self-styled tech-evangelist.
Microbit’s appealing block-based programming designed to familiarise youngsters with coding and interconnectivity spurred Mannapperuma to introduce it in his country.
He approached the UK-based Micro:bit Education Foundation a year ago with his idea of encouraging schoolchildren outside the more privileged urban areas to learn coding skills.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.