Download the Big Food Survey files

Ashley Roberts with children doing the Big Food Survey
So you've read up on how to use The Big Food Survey and you're ready to get started. That's great! Find out how to download and install all the necessary resources below, step-by-step.

The Firmware

To have your micro:bit remember your survey answers, you'll need to install this new firmware! You can install this at any time before you start doing your survey. Why not do it now?

Download the firmware here.

Don't worry, it's really simple to get working. After you have downloaded your firmware, connect your micro:bit to your computer via USB cable while holding in the Reset button on the back of the micro:bit. Please remove any battery packs attached to the micro:bit when doing this.
Your micro:bit should be recognised on your computer as a drive called 'MAINTENANCE'. While in this state, click and drag the firmware hex. file over to the drive.
There will be a few seconds while the file installs itself on your micro:bit. You micro:bit will then disconnect and reconnect itself as a drive called 'MICROBIT'.
And that's it! You'll be able to use your micro:bit as normal aftewards, and even flash new scripts to it until you're ready to do The Big Food Survey.

The Survey File

Once you're ready, you can install the survey itself. It's recommended to do this the day before you intend to do the survey, to allow you maximum preparation time without interrupting other micro:bit activities.

Download the survey here.

Installing the survey is like flashing over any other ordinary .hex file. Connect your micro:bit to your computer via USB cable.
Your micro:bit should be recognised on your computer as a drive called 'MICROBIT'. While in this state, drag the survey .hex file over to the drive.
Note: Flashing over the survey .hex with the survey already installed will erase your previous save data.
There will be a few seconds while the file installs itself on your micro:bit... and then you're done!
You'll know that the installation has worked when a flashing question mark is shown on the micro:bit's LEDs.
Once the script has been flashed over, please disconnect the micro:bit from your computer and any other power sources until you are ready to start the survey. The survey's questions appear after a certain amount of time has passed with the micro:bit on. To ensure the best experience with the survey, only have the micro:bit on during your allotted Survey Day.

Gathering survey data

To gather survey data from the micro:bit to use in your class, you'll need to look at the files on your micro:bit, generated by answering questions on the survey. Connect your micro:bit to your computer via USB cable, and look inside the MICROBIT drive that appears for 'MBITFS.HTM'.
Screenshot of the MICROBIT drive with MBITFS.HTM circled
This is a website link that will tell you about any extra data files stored on your micro:bit. It should say that there is a 'Survey.csv' file stored.
The .csv filetype is designed to be opened in spreadsheet software - you can either open it in that software directly, or copy it to your clipboard to paste into an existing document.
When you open the .csv, you'll be greeted with this:
Screenshot of the survey.csv
Which might be a little hard to read when you first look at! Let's break it down:
1) This leftmost column represents all the questions given in the survey. In a spreadsheet containing data from multiple surveys, you'll only need this column once.
2) This column represents the answers given in a survey. Instead of having the answer in words, number values are assigned to each answer, with -1 being "Did not answer".


Run into issues with installing the survey? See if the answer lies below.

I forgot to install the firmware!

Without the firmware, the micro:bit will be unable to remember your survey answers if you turn it off, and you won't be able to submit your survey results.
No worries though, you can still install the firmware after you've started the survey.
With your micro:bit still powered by a battery, please connect your micro:bit to your computer via USB, following the firmware installation instructions above. Once you're done, disconnect the micro:bit from all power sources, then plug in the battery pack again.

I accidentally tried to install the survey file as firmware/the firmware file as the survey!

Don't worry, even though the micro:bit will let you flash over the file, it will only accept firmware files during Maintenance mode. Flash over the firmware normally again, and everything will be okay!

I can't see the MBITFS.HTM file on my micro:bit!

Screenshot of the MICROBIT drive. The Flash.bin file isn't there
No need to panic, this is easy for you to fix! There are likely two reasons for this issue:
  • The firmware hasn't been installed: Follow the 'I forgot to install the firmware!' instructions above.
  • The micro:bit hasn't been turned off: If the firmware is already installed, you'll need to fully disconnect it from any power sources for the MBITFS.HTM file to be created.