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Some humble Raspberry Pi

Published on 03/05/14

The Raspberry pi is a micro-computer that has recently caught the imagination of educationalists. Two and a Half million have just recently been sold currently at a rate of 150 thousand a month.
The Raspberry pi is a micro-computer that has recently caught the imagination of educationalists. Two and a half million have just recently been sold currently at a rate of 150,000 per month. The customers are schools and individuals interested in understanding much more about the world of computing and at a cost of around £25 this development platform remains a very affordable option if you really want to do fun things with computers.

For me working with a Raspberry Pi allows pure freedom


_DSC0004... the chance to mess around with sound and lights, motors and sensors to do real stuff; not just interacting with your screen but being able to interface  just about anything - control and change environments, or even create installations for art projects. It has been with great pleasure that I have had the chance to unleash my enthusiasm on our students and perhaps provide inspiration for at least a few potential computer scientists. So, at the Stephen Perse Foundation we are now teaching coding as part of our compulsory curriculum. In year 8 (7th grade) the most students have been exposed to the Raspberry Pi for the first time. They have also been developing their understanding of basic electronic circuits as they have had to wire up input and output devices, discrete components such as LDRs (light sensors) and LEDs onto bread boards.

Using a development platform such as the Pi gives students the flexibility to develop their understanding of coding in a practical way with instant results – the lights flash!


With just a few basics of coding in Python students can develop their programmes, test their ideas instantly, correct faults and hey presto – it works!

Engineering for the future


piWhilst in year 8 we are using the Pi at the basic level it provides a good platform to develop interest and run more challenging projects. A good example of this is with the Engineering Education Scheme, a six month project for Lower Sixth (11th grade) students that we run at the Foundation. This year for the first time we have four students who chose to use a Pi for their project called “Numbers to Speech”. This device was designed to help the visually impaired to read digital displays around the home. The Raspberry Pi was their first choice because they were able to plug in a camera straight into the board and down load software to run it! Further text to speech software was added to complete the product. With just a little imagination the possibilities are endless! The Engineering project was run with the support of Cambridge-based hi-tech company, ARM.

So those of you who have a Raspberry Pi sitting somewhere in a box get it out this weekend and start having fun.