Multiple Studios = Overlapping Powerful Ideas = Common Tools = Fluency
image by Sylvia Martinez

Our Favorite Software

  • Turtle Art (program beautiful designs with this block-based Logo microworld that may be exported to cutters) Use this version if the other seems buggy on your computer.
  • Turtlestitch (program embroidery with this dialect of Snap!, based on Logo)
  • Scratch (popular block-based programming language and community for learning to code)
  • Snap! (block-based web-based programming language for serious computing and the Hummingbird Bit)
  • Microsoft MakeCode
  • microBlocks (ingenius alternative to MakeCode for programming microcontroller development boards like the BBC micro:bit)
  • Lynx (Web-based multimedia version of Logo)
  • Makers Empire, terrific 3D design software for Mac, PC, Chromebook, and IOS designed for K-8 classrooms
  • Beetleblocks (3D Snap! programming that exports to a 3D printer)

Essential Reading For Institute Participants

Physical Computing with the BBC micro:bit and Hummingbird Bit Robotics Kit

Micro:Bit Getting Started

Micro:Bit Software Options

Other Stuff To Buy (For Our Workshops & Beyond)

More Micro:Bit Resources

A New Block-Based Programming Environment (Alpha Version – Try It Out!)

The Circuit Playground Express

Micro:Bit And Micro:Bit Add-On Board Suppliers And Vendors

  • Sparkfun Electronics – Specializes in hobbyist electronic components, tools, and kits. Sparkfun micro:bit boards and add-ons. Ask for educator discounts.
  • Adafruit – Unique and Fun DIY Electronics and Kits. Check the Young Engineers section for selections that are whimsical and fun. Ask for educator discounts.
  • Robotshop – All your robot needs in one place. Robots for home, school, and professional use, plus drones, wearable technology, kits, toys, parts, and apps.
  • PiMoroni – “Tech Treasures” abound from this UK based vendor for Raspberry Pi, micro:bit, and other microcontrollers, plus kits, accessories, and tools. The name? It stands for Pirate-Monkey-Robot-Ninja, of course.
  • Kitronik – Makes and sells electronic project kits for micro:bit, e-textiles, robotics, and other maker needs. UK-based.
  • (Australia) Education Technology Specialists. Micro:bits, add-on boards, and related products.

Hummingbird Bit Robotics

Software for Hummingbird Bit

Download The Bluebird Connector

Hummingbird Project Ideas

Related Materials

Making Games

Steve Dembo’s Making Games Slide Deck from the Chicago 2021 Invent To Learn Institute

Basic Computer Games books (classic inspiration in pdf form) 

Arcade game collections created by Invent To Learn Institute participants (August 2021)

Mathematics, Coding, and Computer Science

Invent To Learn Quickstart Guides

Free Classic Turtle Geometry E-Books

Barry Newell’s books, Turtle Confusion and Turtle Speaks Mathematics

Invent To Learn Web Sites

Constance Kamii Math Resources

Constance Kamii math videos (multiple videos)

Constance Kamii Direct vs Indirect Ways of Teaching Number Concepts at Ages 4-6
A comprehensive lecture explaining Piagetian ideas showing that although number concepts cannot be taught directly, they can be taught indirectly by encouraging children to think.

Kamii Games for Developing Number Sense

Logo Activities

These activities designed for MicroWorlds EX should be applicable to other programming environments, like Turtle Art, ScratchSnap!, and especially Lynx. If you translate any of these activities for other languages, please let me know!

Software Manuals & Reference Materials


Snap! MOOCS And Online Courses

Wolfram Resources

Articles About Teaching Programming

Books And Magazines For Programming Project Ideas

The Case for Programming Slides by Gary Stager