Physical Computing & Education Services

Inspire the next generation of engineers with our educational platforms, software, and resources, enabling them to develop their future.

Building a Better Future

These latest devices, such as micro:bit, Arduino and Raspberry Pi, are designed to expose children, students, and adults to creating technology with a vast array of supporting materials.

Gain an understanding of the architecture and principles of software and hardware system design as used in the electronics engineering workplace. Learn from a wide range of online courses and supporting educational kits available from some of the world’s top tech companies like Arm, Microchip and Texas Instruments and prepare yourself for that next challenge within your studies or professional career.

All supported by our element14 community, providing a valued source of information for students, educators and enthusiasts worldwide.

Physical Computing

Physical Computing is the act of creating interactive systems that can sense and respond to the world around us, allowing humans to communicate through computers. It requires computational thinking, “a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behaviour that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.” – Jeannette Wing, a fundamental skill for everyone, not just computer scientists.

Computer Science is not just about learning technology; computer science is about logic, problem solving, and creativity. Applying these concepts in the real world gives us ‘Physical Computing’. Physical Computing links the desktop computer or laptop to the real world and allows children to explore and problem solve in the world around them....

Introducing a new generation to coding, Farnell element14 has all the devices and accessories required to enable Physical Computing in the classroom or code club. The latest ranges of educational boards and microcontrollers makes learning to code an easy, fun and collaborative experience for students of all ages. Vital for so many jobs in the future, exposing students to coding and real world technology projects from an early age helps to demystify technology and provides them with a deeper insight into the tools they use in their everyday life.

For the cost of a few new laptops, a school or college can set up their computing and computer science lessons benefiting from a combination of hardware devices, safe learning environments (coding platforms), lesson plans and teaching aids.

Inspired by the projects your students can make with these boards, it’s the first step to becoming an innovator of the future. Providing a previously unprecedented level of access to the ‘guts’ of the hardware, the latest range of educational boards, DIY robots, and development kits enable you and your students to bring their ideas to life.

Computers and software are changing everything… We are at the beginning of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ that builds on the digital revolution that began in the middle of the last century.

Computers, smartphones, smart systems, and other technologies are woven into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. As computational technology advances, it is imperative that we educate young people and working adults to thrive in a computational world.

The answer is not simply memorizing facts or learning skills that are applicable only to specific tasks, especially when those tasks can be done more quickly and with greater accuracy by technology. The answer lies in skills that reflect the demands of today’s technology-driven world, as well as capabilities that are uniquely human and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Here are 5 Important Reasons why kids should learn Computer Science:

  1. 58% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates are in computer science

  2. A computer science major can earn 40% more than the college average.

  3. $1.67m lifetime earnings of a computer science major vs. $1.19m lifetime earnings of a college graduate.

  4. Computing jobs are the no. 1 source of new wages in the US

  5. 500,000 current openings across every industry, and projected to grow at twice the rate of other jobs.

The robots are coming, learn to take control...

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Fun and easy to use devices to get the juniors started (or teach yourself) with learning to code and the basics of electronics. Get creative with technology rather than just consuming it.

All of the featured products below have been designed and developed with the aim of inspiring young children to learn about the digital world through the use of interactive products and engaging projects; providing them with the perfect start to embrace the future. The supporting content for teachers makes it easier to plan and execute lessons to a level that suits your students’ varying abilities.

Microbit Beginners


Designed and developed for both teachers and students, this pocket-sized computer has proven to be a great education success story, with over 2 million devices in the hands and minds of school children around the globe. The micro:bit is super easy to use and ready to get started out-of-the box, with a choice of coding editors for all abilities including Blocks, JavaScript, Python, Scratch 3.0 and Microsoft MakeCode.

Codebug Beginners


Proving that ‘bugs’ can be good, the CodeBug provides a fun and engaging way to build interactive devices, making physical computing and wearable electronics accessible for all. Its bug like shape, flashing LED’s and very simple start-up make this the ideal entry product for young children to learn about computing and electronics with a smile on their face.

Robotics for Beginners

Robotic Products & More

Say hello to our little friends!

Easy to build and fun to play with, programmable robots are popular tools in the classroom to inspire children with moveable physical devices. We have a range of robots and robot building kits that work with our platforms and also as standalone robots for education.

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Clubs & Dojos

Code Club

Code Club UK is a nationwide network of volunteers and educators who run free coding clubs for young people aged 9-13. Projects are outlined simply using step-by-step guides to help students learn Scratch, HTML & CSS, and Python by creating animations, games and websites. By progressively introducing coding concepts, the Code Club projects support young people in building their knowledge incrementally.

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CodeDojo are free, informal clubs that teach young people aged 7-17 to learn to code and create with technology. This global community hosts more than 1900 free, open and local programming clubs (called Dojos) within 93 different countries.

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Bring the ‘Digital World’ into the classroom with a range of devices that enable your students to take an interactive and ‘hands-on’ approach to not only learning to code, but also problem solving and logical thinking as they take control of real world devices for real world solutions.

All of the featured products below have been designed and developed with the aim of inspiring students to learn about the digital world through the use of interactive, engaging and inclusive manners; providing them with the perfect start to embrace the future. The supporting content for teachers makes it easier to plan and execute lessons to a level that suits your students’ ability.

Raspberry Pi Beginners

Raspberry Pi

Teach, learn and make with the Raspberry Pi. The world’s most popular small computer, the Raspberry Pi was designed to promote the teaching of computing in classrooms around the globe. Its low cost, accessible hardware, vast ecosystem of accessories and multi-lingual teaching materials / lesson plans make this the ideal Physical Computing choice for ages 11+. Students can learn to code in a safe standalone sandbox environment, without the danger of damaging expensive hardware, losing files, resetting operating systems or associated safeguarding risks from online access.

Arduino Intermediate


Arduino Education is committed to empowering educators with the necessary hardware and software tools to create a more hands-on, innovative learning experience.

A popular educational platform, Arduino is at the heart of so many education products and projects, enabling innovative techniques for cross-curriculum studies. Robots and toys powered by Arduino technology can be used to introduce physical learning, logic, building skills, and problem solving. Arduino’s Immersive Educational Environment promotes the creative process through project-based learning, with a focus on student interaction and group collaboration.

micro:bit Intermediate


A unique pocket-sized computer system designed for both teachers and students. Micro:bit helps inspire students of all ages and skill levels to explore their creative potential through coding.

It’s simple to use and ready straight out-of-the box, with a choice of coding editors for all abilities including Blocks, JavaScript, Python, Scratch 3.0 and Microsoft MakeCode.

The micro:bit education program is ideal for all ages, as well as more advanced ability levels.

Robotics for Intermediate

Robotic Products & More

The Robots are Coming!

A range of robots and robotics products that operate with Arduino and Raspberry Pi to enable students to learn how to develop, code and control their robot or robotic component to complete everyday tasks and challenges. Ideal for introducing students to both the problem solving theory and creative solutions through robotics.

View All Robotic Products


Continuing the learning experience for those students who’ve caught the bug, and are excited by the world of Physical Computing, these online courses with supporting products and software have been developed to help students or aspiring engineers learn about and use the latest technologies and solutions in the electronics industry.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Learn to program in languages like Scratch and Python with the Raspberry Pi, a small affordable computer. With the ability to interact with the outside world through a wide variety of digital projects, the Raspberry Pi provides a number of exciting ways to learn and develop coding skills.

A copious amount of learning resources are available for these boards, including a guide for introducing Raspberry Pi to the classroom, curriculum support, and much more.

Arduino Advanced


Arduino technology is used to Develop. Teachers and students are using Arduino boards to learn programming and robotics, as well as to create and build low-cost scientific instruments. At universities, Arduino is widely adopted in the fields of engineering, Internet of Things, robotics, art, and design, to name just a few.

With a continually increasing number of projects and tutorials, Arduino has a growing worldwide community providing accessible knowledge and support for students, educators, makers and engineers.



These boards are low-cost computers with the expandability of today’s desktop machines, but without the bulk, expense, or noise. BeagleBone boards simplify physical computing on advanced network enabled and GUI enabled devices. With an open source development platform, BeagleBone boards offer support for development environments from Android, QNX, Ubuntu and Windows Embedded, as well as web tools to bare metal and Arduino/Wiring-style programming.

Further Learning


Picademy is the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free face-to-face professional development programme that supports educators throughout their digital making and computing journey. This two-day training event is held at venues around the UK and North America. After completing the programme, educators join a community of passionate digital making practitioners.

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Arm Accelerated Learning - Online Courses

Arm offers a number of online courses that have been carefully developed to help students, hobbyists and practicing or aspiring engineers learn about state of the art technologies from the Arm partner ecosystem. Arm’s online courses are modular, each including lecture slides, hands on lab videos with solutions and interactive quizzes. Hardware and software tools may be required for some courses and can easily be purchased from Premier Farnell.

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Education Services

We offer a number of services for students and educators in STEM, including convenient purchasing options, exclusive promotions and access to learning tools to support your classes and curriculum.

  • STEM Academy – featuring resources for a range of teaching and learning concepts

  • element14 Learning Center – for all things related to learning about electronic engineering. Covering a wide range of engineering topics, with contributions from our partner manufacturers

  • Features & Interviews – interviews with leading voices in the STEM space

  • Technical Journals – a comprehensive series of journals, explaining the importance of core technologies, how they work, and how to use and implement them

  • Calculators & Conversion Charts – online tools to solve your scientific calculations

  • Exclusive Brands – our brands offer a wide range of reliable products including connectors, cables, test devices, tools and much more at exceptional prices (typically 30% less)

  • iBuy – customisable purchasing tools to streamline your education procurement from product selection through approval and order placement

  • Sponsorship – we also offer regular sponsorship opportunities for special projects and initiatives.

  • OneCall – Premier Farnell’s dedicated electronic and technology business for the UK university education sector

Tools & Lab Supplies

All the products for all your education needs from building a ‘class pet robot’ through to installing the latest tech in your university lab.

Software Solutions

Premier Farnell offers competitive prices from the leading Engineering Software distributors, with packages and licences specifically designed for both students and professionals.

For Students

Matlab & Simulink - View our MathWorks bundles with boards like Raspberry Pi, Arduino & BeagleBone.

LabVIEW - CAD Software for Schematics & PCB Design

For Professionals

Compilers & IDEs - Compilers and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software are essential tools for writing and translating various types of code.

EDA, ECAD & MCAD Tools - Utilise Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software to create your electronic circuit concept and verify it using simulation without the need of a physical board. Electronic and Mechanical Computer-Aided Design (ECAD/MCAD) software assists you in creating and modifying your designs, including diagrams and layouts, in both 2D and 3D formats.

OS & Middleware - An Operating System (OS) manages the basic functions required by your computer, while Middleware provides the bridge between your OS and applications and/or databases.

Stay Connected

We’re a company dedicated to supporting engineering and electronics in education to help drive the industry forward. Become a member of the element14 Community and connect with engineers from around the world, participate in webinars, and gain real-world experience for the future. Learn to design, create, and program electronics at

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Courses & Teaching Aids

Here you can find links to all the resources and guides to plan and execute your education program. All the educational platforms available from Farnell element14 have an array of lessons, projects, and teaching materials with a choice of programming/coding languages to suit your target learning experience.

Raspberry Pi
Texas Instruments