Big Food Survey Frequently Asked Questions

Your biggest Survey FAQs

Still a bit nervous about taking part? That's okay, we're happy to help! Below are a few BFS FAQs you might have. OMG!

What is the firmware and is it important?

Put simply, firmware is software that helps other software to run correctly. New firmware is needed to run the survey, and the survey will be functionally useless without it! Fortunately installing the firmware is easy. Find out how in Tip 1 of this page, or on our Big Food Survey download page.

Can I test the survey on my teacher device?

Yes! The survey can be run on any micro:bit, provided the firmware has been correctly installed.

I don’t want to give the device to students to take home, can I get them to do the dinner question the day after?

We encourage students to experiment with the micro:bit both in and out of school. However, if your school needs to retain student micro:bits, you can indeed 'pause' the survey until later. While the micro:bit isn’t powered, time will not pass – letting you resume the survey at any time.

What will happen if the students forget to answer any of the meal time questions?

Questions can’t be skipped – they stockpile! If you don’t touch the micro:bit until after lunch, you’ll get the breakfast and lunch questions consecutively. Between the mealtime questions there are extra snacks and drinks questions. These are important to answer, but can be missed if the survey is only interacted with after the evening meal question.

Can I upload the survey from multiple devices at once?

Though the survey submission page isn’t live yet, it’s designed to accept multiple survey data files. Read the instructions on how to use the submission form here.

Can I do the survey on the same device on multiple days?

Flashing the survey .hex to the micro:bit when the survey has already been installed will clear all survey data, letting you start over. Be sure to save the FLASH.bin survey data file before re-flashing your micro:bit.

Can I do the survey in one lesson?

The survey is designed to be done in real time – so the question about lunch won’t be asked until lunch happens in real life. Having a dedicated lesson to make sure your students are set up correctly is a good idea, however.

What happens if I forget to turn the micro bit off after I downloaded the hex?

The micro:bit will continue to cue up meal questions while the micro:bit is powered on. You can miss some important questions if left running this way. You can reset the survey by flashing another copy of the survey to the micro:bit. This will also wipe any previous save data on the micro:bit.

Do the timed questions of the survey need to be done exactly at 9am, 12pm and 5pm?

Ideally as close as possible to that timing, yes. However, the timing of the survey is relative to when you start it. If you answer your breakfast question at 8am in real-time, then the survey will ask you your midday meal question at 11am from your perspective. You can of course wait until after you've had your midday meal to answer that question, if it's not exactly when you're asked.

What do I do if I've answered a question wrong?

Questions lock in once answered. Unfortunately this means you’ll have to start the survey over if you want to change your answers.

What happens if the battery goes flat mid way through?

As long as the firmware is installed, your survey progress will be saved, even when the micro:bit isn’t powered. Time on the micro:bit will not pass while the micro:bit is turned off.

When do we get the results?

It will take a little while to process the data! Expect to start hearing about the results from the week after the survey (Oct 10th onward).