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Bayfield Middle School student codes his own computer program

Seventh grader Hayden Upson creates micro:bit, a pocket-size calculator
Bayfield Middle School seventh grader Hayden Upson created a computer program called a micro:bit. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield Middle School seventh grader Hayden Upson has grown from being just a typical adolescent surfing the web on his computer to coding his own computer program.

Upson created a calculator that can add, subtract, multiply, divide and figure exponents, according to a news release on Bayfield School District’s website. That program is called a micro:bit, a tiny pocket-size calculator that was first developed and launched by the BBC in 2015. And now Upson developed his own micro:bit.

“The intricacy and efficiency of the code he developed not only showcased his understanding of programming but also demonstrated a level of skill that goes well beyond his grade level,” said BMS teacher Paul Pyatt. “Hayden's ability to translate mathematical operations into a functional and user-friendly micro:bit program is a testament to his dedication, ingenuity, and advanced coding proficiency.”

A micro:bit is half the size of a credit card, and it includes a processor, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors, according to the release. It also features Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and it can be powered up either by USB or an external battery pack.

Pyatt created a YouTube video of Upson demonstrating how he codes that micro:bit application. Pyatt also plans to share Upson’s work with the Science Discovery Program at the University of Colorado in Boulder, according to the release.


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