As a part of the global “do your:bit” campaign, our Libraries Unlimited programme organised a two-day workshop with students in the District Government Public Library, Cox’s Bazar from 16 –17 November 2019. It was an opportunity for the participants to learn about computer coding with the micro:bit and develop solutions to global environmental problems.

“do your: bit” is a global campaign led by the Micro:bit Educational Foundation and ARM Holdings (British multinational semiconductor and software design company) and World’s Largest Lesson (a UN-led initiative). This campaign is inspiring young people to combine technology and creativity to find solutions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Focussing on SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land), the campaign aims to develop ideas for solving environmental problems with micro:bit, a tiny programmable computer.

The workshop highlighted many of the environmental issues faced around the world, such as deforestation, desertification, over-fishing, and pollution of the land and seas. The participants, aged from 10 to 15, completed a variety of coding activities with the micro:bit and accessories, which included programming the micro:bit to detect illegal logging and warn the authorities, to relay data from the oceans as an oceanic health monitor, to operate an automated farming system and to guide sea turtle hatchlings safely to the sea. A similar workshop also took place in Dhaka in September. With two more workshops planned to take place by February 2020, around 80 participants in total will be introduced to this new idea of coding through these four workshops.

The “do your: bit “workshop gave the participants an increased ability to code and improved their knowledge of SDGs, an appreciation for the importance of the SDGs and increased their perception of being able to apply coding to the real world and solve environmental problems with technology. The workshop was part of the British Council’s wider initiative to bring coding to children in public libraries across Bangladesh, in which over 3000 participants have already been reached through 29 workshops in 27 districts across the country.

 The campaign in Bangladeshis developing global citizens who think about Global Goals and understand why they are important and what practical steps can be done to achieve them. Participants are learning not only to code but how coding and technology can be applied to a real-world setting, which is vital for developing technical innovation in future generations. The regional winners of the “do your:bit” competition will be invited to attend a global gathering for the “do your :bit” finale in London, UK in June2020 to share their ideas and experiences.