Age range: 11-14
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Computing
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Maths
  • Physics

Coding the future

DIY Faraday Challenge Day

A set of printable resources and guidance notes giving teachers and technicians the basic ingredients to run their very own Faraday Challenge Day. This cross-curricular activity day brings science, design and technology, engineering, maths and computing together in an engaging way.

The context of the challenge

Coding is part of the world for all of us; from gaming to working our mobile phones, our computers, even our washing machines. Coding enables us to provide instructions in a form which computers can understand. This means that computers can help us to do things which otherwise may be much more difficult. 

As computers become more common in our everyday lives engineers are using coding more frequently to solve everyday problems. The Coding the Future challenge will task your students with coding their BBC micro:bit for a real-life application.

Students will work in teams of engineers to solve a problem or to change or improve people’s experience in an area of our everyday lives. Students will experience what engineers do as they work together to develop a new product. They will need to use all of their STEM skills as well as skills in teamwork, perseverance, creativity and innovation. 

Activity info and teachers' notes

The Coding the Future challenge is based on the Faraday Challenge of the same name from our 2015/16 season of Faraday Challenge Days.

Students are challenged to develop two products using their BBC micro:bit for the real-world within their chosen theme - Health, Sport, Travel or Home and Leisure - and then to pitch their products to the Coding the Future judges.

The aim of this challenge is to introduce students to the new coding platform developed by the BBC and it's partners as part of the 2015-16 wider BBC Make it Digital programme. Of course, other coding devices can be used to complete the same challenge so if you don't have access to BBC micro:bits in your school then please do substitute for your own devices.  

Designed for six teams of six students (36 students in total) aged 11 – 12 years (year 7, and equivalent), the challenge encourages the development of students’ problem solving, team working and communication skills. This activity day can be tailored to the needs of your school and your students by adapting the PowerPoint presentation and the editable student booklet.

What's included?

The complete set of downloadable materials includes:

  • Teachers' pack
    A list of the practical materials needed, presenters’ notes highlighting key areas and reinforcing key themes throughout the day, some handy hints on how to deliver the day . . . plus printable Faradays currency and student certificates.
  • Student booklet
    Available as an editable MSWord document to allow the booklet to be adapted to meets the needs of your students and your school.
  • Introductory PowerPoint presentation
    A step-by-step guide for your students throughout the day, with supporting notes for the delivery of the presentation.
  • Film clip
    Full briefing video introducing the challenge to your students, including real-life case studies from engineers in the field who programmed the BBC micro:bit to carry out one of their daily tasks.

Remember, it’s all free! ...and registration is free too!

All online resources (including film clips!) are free to download, and the student booklet and PowerPoint presentation are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.

You can stream and download the related film for free by clicking on the appropriate link in the Related resources section below.


Available downloads

To download any of the resources on this page please login or register


Teachers' pack - A guide for teachers on how to run the Coding the Future Faraday Challenge Day.



Student booklet - The full booklet to print and hand out to each team.



Introductory PowerPoint presentation



Teachers' extras - Certificates, currency, name badges, price tags and more - all in this handy PDF for teachers.



Planning sheet - A useful handout for the students to plan their BBC micro:bit products and then reflect back on the decisions made.



Student roles - A helpful insight into the tasks and skills required to carry out each student job role.



Codes to buy - Ready prepared codes for students to buy from the shop.



Coding support sheets - These ‘How to’ sheets will help your students to code and build their final products.



Drum roll sound effect to be used as part of the DIY Faraday Challenge Day resource.